KAMPALA – The incoming United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Country Representative, Dr. Mary Otieno has on Wednesday presented her credentials to the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs (In charge of International Affairs) Henry Okello Oryem.
Oryem welcomed Dr. Otieno to Uganda, noting that UNFPA has provided continuous support to the country to implement programmes in the areas of Population and Development, integrated sexual and reproductive health and gender equality. This support, he noted is well aligned to Government priorities as enshrined in the National Vision 2020 and articulated in the National Development Plan III (2021-2025).
Dr. Otieno expressed her pleasure at the new post, and appreciated the support of the Government of Uganda. In particular, she singled out the leadership of the President to deliver on the commitments made at the Nairobi Summit on ICPD25, including reducing unmet need for family planning, eliminating teenage pregnancy and child marriage, as well as all forms of Gender-Based Violence.
UNFPA is supporting the Government of Uganda to deliver on this commitment.
She assured the Minister of UNFPA’s continued commitment to support Uganda to achieve its development aspirations, in particular, to harness the demographic dividend by turning its youthful population into productive human and social capital that will contribute to sustainable economic growth. She noted that while the COVID-19 pandemic has set back socio-economic progress, in particular in the area of sexual and reproductive health, UNFPA was committed to doubling its efforts and support to Government and its partners to ensure that these gains are not eroded.
Dr. Otieno, a national of Kenya brings with her more than 20 years of managerial and strategic leadership, advocacy and technical expertise in reproductive health, population and development, gender and human rights within the UN System and with international organisations. She holds a PhD in Epidemiologic Science and a Master’s Degree in Public Health from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; as well as a Master of Arts Degree in Demography and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from the University of Nairobi, Kenya. She has previously served as UNFPA Country Representative in Zambia and South Sudan.
Minister Oryem wished her a pleasant tour of duty in Uganda.