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KCO May Newsletter

UNFPA’s cardinal responsibility to protect and uphold rights that predicate the dignity and autonomy of human bodies has been amplified under the Covid-19 pandemic whose malignant spread in over 33 coun- ties in Kenya has cast not so palatable experiences in the coming months

.Devastating floods that decimated 288 lives and the worst locust infestation in 70 years have excerbated the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic in Kenya.

As the country and communities grapple with the multiple and intersecting ramifications of the pandemic and other emergencies, provision of sexual and reproductive health rights, and addressing susceptibility to gender based violence and harmful practices present pertinent and urgent needs.

Documentation of predictors a calamitous scenario is gradually gaining authority in Kenya. Data from the national GBV Hotline showed an increase of 25% in GBV cases between March and April 2020 while uptake of modern contraception has shrunk by 17% between January and April 2020, according to the health sector data collation system(DHIS2).

UNFPA has presently deployed 9 key experts to support national and county governments in the Covid-19 response besides provision of 35,000 assorted PPEs and training over 3,000 health workers. We have distributed 3,050 dignity kits to mitigate effects of both floods and Covid-19. Through various media platforms and partnership networks, UNFPA has reached over 1.3 million people with information on SRHR and GBV in the last three months.

Covid-19 became a public health emergency after UNFPA and the Government of Kenya had hosted the historic ICPD25 Nairobi Summit in 2019. We shall therefore invoke the various commintments made during the Summit to ensure sustained focus on protecting gains in maternal health, the unmet need for family plan- ning and reduction in harmful practices against the backdrop of Covid-19.

We recognize and applaud the partnerships and collaborative spaces that we have cultivated to optimize synergies in responding to the Covid-19 pandemic. Our innovative strategies with the youth, anti-FGM cham- pions, women’s organizations, and institutions that represent persons with disabilities has ensured fidelity to the clarion call of leaving no one behind!

The dearth in resources is a major constraint that has hampered giant leaps in our joint initiatives with our partners. As an organization, we seek an additional US$6,282,562 million to accelerate the Covid-19 response while addressing all other essential services that are gradually sliding into limbo.

UNFPA will continue to strengthen local capacities and promote intersectionality and diversity in voices and actions that promise a context specific and sustainable response for the health and safety of all.