UNFPA to assist Sri Lanka in modernizing statistical system for transition to digital economy

UNFPA Asia Pacific Regional Director Pio Smith with Sri Lankan Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena

United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Asia Pacific Regional Director Pio Smith called on Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena at the Temple on Thursday (February 29).

The Prime Minister thanked the UNFPA for the support extended during the past 50 years to several areas, including plans to modernize Sri Lanka’s statistical system and upgrade the population data system.

The UNFPA Regional Director assured continuous support to upgrade data systems to move towards the digital economy.

Mr. Smith expressed interest in assisting programs to enhance collaboration at the national level and advocate for the rights of women and girls. He mentioned his visit to Kilinochchi on Wednesday to assess the issues faced by communities at the grassroots level, where he noted with satisfaction the measures taken regarding gender violence at homes and outside.

UNFPA Sri Lanka sustains its enduring collaboration with the Sri Lankan government and diverse stakeholders countrywide, driving progress in health, education, and gender equality.

PM Gunawardena stated that the support provided to strengthen comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services, encompassing family planning and maternal and neonatal healthcare, was highly appreciable.

The UNFPA Regional Director lauded Sri Lanka’s comprehensive approach to reproductive health and family planning, ensuring accessible information and services to enable informed decision-making.

The Prime Minister highlighted the UNFPA’s initiation of mobile health clinics to deliver comprehensive maternal and reproductive health services in rural areas, as well as the supply of maternity and dignity kits to pregnant women and girls, ensuring access to essential items in times of crisis, which were immensely beneficial to the villagers.

Secretary to the Prime Minister Anura Dissanayake, Mr Kunle Adeniyi – Representative, UNFPA Sri Lanka, Kunel Adeniyi and UNFPA Programme Specialist Madu Dissanayake also took part in this meeting.