STATEMENT BY HON. WYCLIFFE AMBETSA OPARANYA, EGH, MINISTER OF STATE FOR PLANNING, NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND VISION 2030 DURING THE HANDING OVER OF CONTRACEPTIVE ON 26TH JULY 2012.
Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation;
Permanent Secretary, Ministry of State for Planning, National Development and Vision 2030;
Your Excellency, the Ambassador to Kenya, Government of the People’s Republic of China;
UNFPA Representative to Kenya;
Deputy Executive Director, Partners in Population and Development;
Director – Africa Regional Office, Partners in Population and Development;
Members of the Press;
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Let me first start by welcoming you to this function.
We are gathered here this morning to witness the handing over of contraceptives donated to Kenya by the Chinese Government. Kenya and China are cooperating in many fields of socio-economic development. As you may be aware, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Kenya has just returned home after a very fruitful official visit to the Peoples Republic of China.
Kenya is a founder member of Partners in Population and Development (PPD). PPD is one of the most active UN South – South Initiatives. It was established after the 1994 International Conference on Population and Development held in Cairo. It is an inter-governmental organization aimed at promoting sharing of knowledge, technology and expertise so as to accelerate the attainment of ICPD Programme of Action and Millennium Development Goals. UNFPA continue to provide financial and technical support to PPD. Currently China and Kenya are serving as the Vice-Chair and Secretary of PPD Executive Committee, respectively. You may also recall that I was personally elected to serve as the President of the UN South – South Cooperation during the meeting held in Nairobi in December 2009.
Ladies and Gentlemen: Both China and Kenya are fully aware that they have challenges in the field of population and development. While Kenya is struggling with a youthful and rapidly growing population, China on the other hand is struggling with an ageing and a very large population size estimated at 1.3 billion. We have therefore a common task of ensuring a harmonious balance between population and socio-economic development in order to achieve the goal of sustainable development.
It is in this spirit that the level of South – South cooperation between China and Kenya has been intensified in the field of population. My Delegation made official ten day visit to China in July 2011 to study the infrastructure and support systems for their family planning programme. In addition, there have been official exchange visits involving technical officers from the National Family Planning Commission of China and the National Council for Population and Development. We have today two officers of NCPD undergoing a three week training course in China on population and development. It is also important to note that since 2005, each year about three officers from Kenya attend training programmes organized in China on population and development. A team of four officers associated with Population and Family Planning Commission will be on official visit to Kenya from 12th to 19th August 2012 to work with the NCPD team on application of a population projection model.
The Chinese Government in 2010 donated a batch of Reproductive Health Medical Equipment valued at Kshs. 40 Million. The contraceptives being handed over today are therefore part of the ongoing South – South cooperation between China and Kenya.
Ladies and Gentlemen: My Ministry, through the National Council for Population and Development mobilizes resources for population programmes including Family Planning. Today’s event marks yet another milestone in Kenya’s relationship with China. Indeed, you may recall that during the Family Planning Programme re-launch ceremony held on 14th February 2012 the Chinese Vice – Minister in attendance promised to donate an initial 5,000 doses of Sino- Plant contraceptives to Kenya. The commodities we are receiving today are worth about Kshs. 4 million.
The benefits of Family Planning are many and my Ministry through the National Council for Population and Development is committed to continually ensuring that Kenyans get the relevant information and services on Family Planning. Family Planning dramatically improves the health of mothers and their children. The contraceptives we are handing over today to the Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation will contribute towards improving the health of mothers and children and thus contribute in achieving our aspirations of Kenya Vision 2030.
Ladies and Gentlemen: You are all aware that Kenya was invited and attended the London Family Planning Summit organized by the UK Government and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation on 11th July 2012. It was addressed by a number of dignitaries including the UK Prime Minister and three Presidents of our neighbouring countries Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda. The key messages from the Summit are that: (i) there is overwhelming scientific evidence that increasing access to FP information and services will drastically improve the living conditions of individual women and their families, especially among the very poor; (ii) governments, development partners and the civil society organizations are all ready and willing to provide additional resources to meet FP needs of the poor countries, including sub Sahara Africa by 2020; and, (iii) the Government of Kenya was on the correct path by introducing a budget line item on FP commodities way back in 2005. It was cited as a best practice.
Ladies and Gentlemen: As I conclude I wish to reiterate that the government is committed to FP and we believe that no woman should die while giving birth to life. There is a policy commitment to this. Already, cabinet approved Sessional Paper No. 3 of 2012 on Population Policy for National Development and now awaits parliament’s approval. There has also been increase in financial commitment towards FP. Since 2005/2006 Financial Year, when the Government re-introduced a budget line item for FP commodities, this item has increased from the initial amount of US $ 2.5 million to US $ 6.6 million in the 2012/2013 Financial Year. We are working hard to expand access to a full range of family range of family planning methods so that people have choices to make.
Finally, I would like to thank the Government of the People’s Republic of China through your Excellency the Ambassador for this kind donation and look forward to our continued collaboration in population and other fields.