CASTRIES, St Lucia — A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was officially signed between the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS) Commission and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) sub-regional office for the Caribbean.
The MoU aims to strengthen partnership and collaboration in population programmes inclusive of sexual and reproductive health, demographic data and analysis and gender equality, including in humanitarian settings. The MoU was signed by Alison Drayton, UNFPA Caribbean Director and Representative and Dr Didacus Jules, director general of the OECS Commission. It became effective on July 7, 2020.
The two organisations have a long history of working together and are currently collaborating on several initiatives aimed at improving the availability of key decision-making data in the region. The UNFPA has been supporting population and housing census and strengthening statistical capacity in the OECS Member States since 1969, and is presently working with the OECS Statistical Services Unit to deliver technical and material support for the 2020 round of the population and housing census that will be executed by the national statistics office in each OECS Member State.
One such collaboration is with the OECS Pharmaceutical Procurement Service, which undertakes pooled procurement for the nine Member States through UNFPA for Reproductive Health Commodities, specifically contraceptives including condoms.
UNFPA is also partnering with the OECS Health Unit to deliver training on the Minimal Initial Service Package (MISP) for sexual and reproductive health in emergencies and disasters. The MISP is a coordinated set of activities designed to prevent and manage the consequences of sexual violence; reduce transmission of HIV and other Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs); prevent new-born and maternal morbidity and mortality; prevent unplanned pregnancies and plan for comprehensive reproductive health services. This is being done as part of the World Bank-funded OECS Regional Health Project which aims to improve preparedness capacities of health systems for public health emergencies in the OECS region.
The OECS Commission contributes to the sustainable development of OECS Member States by assisting them to maximize the benefits from the single domestic space by facilitating their integration within the global economy. Achieving this goal includes contributing to policy and programme formulation and execution in respect of regional and international issues, and by facilitating bilateral and multilateral cooperation.
UNFPA’s guiding mantra is to deliver a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled.