9 July 2015

Celebrating World Population Day 2015: Vulnerable Populations in Emergencies
MUSCAT, Oman: World Population Day is observed every July 11 to raise awareness about global population issues. The theme of World Population Day 2015 is "Vulnerable Populations in Emergencies", highlighting the significant global status of women, children and young people in conflicts and disasters. UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, Sub-Regional Office for the GCC Countries has a stake in celebrating this day. Vulnerable Populations in Emergencies and investing in the women and youth is one of UNFPA's priorities in the GCC region.

Women, children and young people comprise over three quarters of the over 50 million people who have been forcibly displaced from their homes by conflict and disasters in most parts of the world. Girls and women in crisis situations face much greater risk of abuse, sexual exploitation, violence, forced marriage, reproductive health-related illnesses, and death due to the lack of protection and an absence of aid delivery to address their needs.

"When a crisis strikes, humanitarian response must be swift and adaptable to the needs of affected populations. Women and young people may especially require targeted support, and aid must be sustained from the onset of an emergency until recovery." Said Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, UNFPA Executive Director.

‘Dignity, safety and reproductive health for all women and girls at all times', ‘No excuses, a life of a woman is precious, under any circumstance and at all times'. Women and girls are more vulnerable in emergencies and have specific needs that are often ignored in crises. Securing their safety, dignity and health ensures the well-being of families and communities.
"Crises magnify women's reproductive needs and challenge us to succeed in delivering even in the most difficult contexts. When we do this, women and girls are safer and healthier.

UNFPA is always there to make sure that the rights and needs of women and girls are at the forefront of humanitarian responses to maintain their dignity and restore safety and access to sexual and reproductive health as quickly as possible.

The activities of the UNFPA GCC office include supporting youth group activities, such as Y-PEER, Youth Peer Education Network, open days and introduction sessions on awareness about peer education, birth spacing, reproductive health, HIV/AIDS, road safety, women empowerment and rights, youth empowerment and other youth relevant issues of the region. The UNFPA GCC office facilitated the participation of several young people in the development policy dialogue and programming activities in the past years.

The GCC office involves trained adolescent girls and boys in national programmes, in cooperation with MOH, including the HIV/AIDS Section and National Committee for Narcotics and Psychotropic Substances. In addition, UNFPA organizes training of trainers (TOT) workshops in methods of outreach and youth self-expression. The TOT aims to enhance the civic participation of young people who develop creative tools to add to their repertoire of outreach through edutainment methodologies. UNFPA GCC office is committed to continuing, projects that address the development, and engagement of the women and youths.

The UNFPA believes that intergenerational dialogue on national development policy-making is important as we see an increasing youth population who are in a productive age who can benefit their society. This year's World Population Day theme is a realization that we need to address the dignity, safety and reproductive health for all women and girls at all times', ‘No excuses, a life of a woman is precious, under any circumstance and at all times'.