Sweden has awarded 57 million Swedish Kronas (6 million USD) to support UNICEF’s health programme in the DRC (Democratic Republic of the Congo), under the terms of partnership agreement signed on 25th April 2017 in Kinshasa.
Sweden has lent its support to UNICEF since 2014, with a total of 23.6 million USD for the implementation of the healthcare component of their Co-operation Programme in the DRC, which aims to improve maternal and childhood health and child survival rates. They achieve this by promoting very efficient interventions, such as vaccination services, care for pregnant women and newborns, services for the care of respiratory and diarrhetic illnesses and for malaria and chronic malnutrition, and activities which promote good nutrition for young children. This programme aims to support these interventions by reinforcing the healthcare and community systems.
The DRC continues to tackle the extremely high child and maternal mortality rates, respectively 104 out of 1000 live births, and 846 out of 100,000 live births in 2014. Nevertheless, the DRC has still made considerable progress in terms of reducing the child mortality rate which has gone from 148 deaths per 1000 live births in 2007 to 104 deaths per 1000 live births in 2014 (Demographic and health study 2013-2014).
Health programme in the DRC to reduce mortality
The additional 6.3 million American Dollars in 2017 will be used for several endeavours. Firstly, to intensify the efforts to speed up the reduction of maternal, newborn and child mortality thanks to better accessibility to basic, efficient, equal health services. Secondly, to support reform in the healthcare system. Thirdly, to spread proven, high impact interventions in the areas of health and nutrition from UNICEF by her health programme in the DRC. Particular importance will be placed on community approaches in order to reinforce community participation, which will ensure that the interventions continue.
This is a major contribution from Sweden, which gives priority to improving the health of mothers and children in the context of the Democratic Republic of the Congo’s development policy. The co-operative development between Sweden and the DRC contributes to a sustainable country and to the consolidation of the state, as well as improving living conditions for those living in poverty and oppression. Sweden is also one of UNICEF’s humanitarian programme partners in the DRC.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of each child, in everything we do. We work in 190 countries and territories all over the world with our partners to make this dream a reality, with a particular emphasis on going to the aid of the most vulnerable and marginalised children, in the interests of all children, wherever they may be.