The UN Population Fund (UNFPA) had supported Imo Ebonyi and Osun states with a total of 60,000 dollars grant to implement interventions toward the elimination of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in the states.

The Media Associate, UNFPA Nigeria, Ms Kori Habib, made this known in a statement on Friday in Abuja.

According her, UNFPA in collaboration with the Guardian UK, inaugurated FGM programme in Nigeria in 2015.

She stated that the partnership between UNFPA and Guardian UK created an opportunity to mobilise and motivate actions that would accelerate the eradication of FGM in Nigeria.

She noted that “UNFPA supported Women of Divine Destiny Initiative (WODDI), an NGO in Imo with 30,000 dollars grant for legislation, policy advocacy change and health system capacity strengthening.

“The fund also supported Ebonyi and Osun states with 30,000 dollars grant which they shared, to support similar activities and intervention programmes in the states.”

She said UNFPA had implemented various intervention programmes over the years toward eliminating FGM in Nigeria.

Habib added that the interventions were majorly directed toward advocacy for national and state policies to eradicate the act, as well as strengthen health response for FGM survivors, among others.

According to her, a UNFPA and UNICEF joint programme for the abandonment of FGM in Nigeria started implementing programmes in 2014 with focus on legislation and policy advocacy change.

“The joint programme was implemented in Osun, Ekiti, Imo, Lagos, Oyo and Ebonyi state.

“UNFPA and UNICEF supported the baseline and situational assessment on the prevalence of FGM and social drives for FGM.”

The media associate noted that the baseline and situational assessment on the prevalence of FGM provided the basis for the implementation of activities in focal states and communities.

She reiterated the commitment of UNFPA, the Guardian UK and other critical partners to support innovative approaches that would galvanise actions at community and all levels to end FGM in the country.

She added that UNFPA was also committed to ensuring that all pregnancies were wanted, child births were safe and young persons got the requisite potential to contribute meaningfully to mainstream development.

“UNFPA is also interested in ending harmful traditional practices that impact negatively on the health and status of women and girls,” she stressed.