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Cooperation Between Faith-Based Organizations and UNFPA Critical to Maternal Health, Say Groups
Date:8/6/2009

UNITED NATIONS, Aug. 6 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Partnerships between faith-based organizations and UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, are critical to enhancing efforts to reduce maternal deaths and end violence against women.

Representatives of more than 40 international faith-based organizations emphasized this partnership potential at the conclusion of two days of a policy round table on a range of issues including humanitarian relief, migration, maternal health and women's empowerment. The 3-4 August meeting was hosted by UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund.

The international faith-based organizations at the two-day meeting included World Vision, Islamic Relief, Adventist Development and Relief Agency, YWCA, the Salvation Army, Art of Living Foundation, Parliament of the World's Religions and Religions for Peace.

The partnership between faith-based organizations and UNFPA on common goals will "help unleash the tremendous potential for action that remains untapped within the faith-based community", said William Vendley, Secretary-General of Religions for Peace. Their diversity of faiths, networks, capacities and knowledge, he added, will multiply the power of outreach to increase support for work to reduce maternal death and end violence against women.

To facilitate successful partnership with UNFPA, the representatives said faith-based organizations should not only share training and knowledge, but also engage in strategizing on issues such as maternal health and violence against women. They called for user-friendly, evidence-based information which could relate to the language that faith-based communities could use for advocacy.

The Vice Chair of the Parliament of the World's Religions, Audrey Kitagawa, expressed participants' appreciation of UNFPA's work with faith-based communities, adding it had, "become a model for engag
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SOURCE UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund
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