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ETHIOPIA: NORWAY SAYS ASSISTS EFFORTS TO COMBAT FGM

AllAfrica.com - November 16, 2006 Norway allocates 68 million for five years. Norway is scaling up efforts to combat Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and will, over the next five years, spend approximately 68 million Birr on projects that can help eradicate the harmful practice in Ethiopia, the Royal Norwegian embassy said on Tuesday. The statement said the Royal embassy will support projects in Amhara, Oromiya, Afar, and the SPNNRS. As part of the international Action plan against FGM, the Minister of Children and Equality, H.E.M. Karita Bekkemellem, is visiting Ethiopia this week in order to learn more about the harmful practice, the statement said. The Minister will also launch the campaign "My Body, My Choice," at a concert organized by Royal Norwegian Embassy and Save the Children Norway on Friday this week. Prominent Ethiopian and Norwegian artists will perform at the concert, according to the statmentnt. In 2003, the Government of Norway launched its international Action Plan against FGM inline with UN goal of eradicating FGM by 2010. The Action Plan places FGM within a perspective of human rights and poverty reduction. Because of the high prevalence of FGM. Ethiopia was chosen as pilot country for policy implementation, according to the statement. Four original new songs that have been produced in co-operation between the Norwegian and Ethiopian artists will also be released during the event- "We hope that this event will represent a starting point for an increased commitment to eradicate FGM," Ambassador Jens- Petter Kjemproud said in the statement.





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