The Countdown 2030 Europe consortium has been following with great interest, and welcomes the development of a specific Team Europe Initiative (TEI) on Sexual Health and Reproductive Rights (SRHR) in Sub-Saharan Africa, co-led by the European Commission and six EU member states.
Investing in SRHR is fundamental for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals and for the realisation of Universal Health Coverage (UHC). Still, in Sub-Saharan Africa major challenges persist for the realisation of SRHR for all.
Long before COVID-19 struck, progressive governments in Europe were at the forefront of global action to support SRHR, and have restated their commitment to funding SRHR to fight the dire consequences of the pandemic. The European Union has been championing SRHR, and has included its commitment to protect SRHR in a number of its recent development policies and partnerships, including the Gender Action Plan III, its communication and Council Conclusions on a comprehensive strategy with Africa and the post-Cotonou Partnership agreement.
These commitments must continue and be translated into actions in the framework of the TEI on SRHR. The EU’s ability to pool resources with member states as part of the Team Europe approach is a strong asset and will help scale up the support for transformative impact, and allow the EU to build on member states’ respective expertise on the topic.
Countdown 2030 Europe would like to propose its expertise and help contribute to the development of the TEI on SRHR, by providing recommendations on the following key areas: the crucial role of civil society; addressing the main barriers to the realisation of SRHR, leaving no one behind; what could adequate funding look like.
Credit main photo: IPPF_Georgina Goodwin_Burundi