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UNFPA Sri Lanka and University of Colombo Collaborate to Establish Pioneering Centre of Excellence

March 02, Colombo (LNW): The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Sri Lanka and the University of Colombo marked a historic collaboration on Friday (01) by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to establish the first-of-its-kind Centre of Excellence (CoE) for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment (GEWE) in the Asia Pacific region.

The MoU formalizes the partnership between UNFPA Sri Lanka and the University of Colombo, emphasizing UNFPA’s dedication to fostering thought leadership, knowledge creation, and innovation in Sri Lanka. The Centre of Excellence will serve as a hub for advancing gender equality and empowering women through research, education, and advocacy initiatives.

In a related ceremony, Pio Smith, UNFPA Asia Pacific Regional Director, and Kotaro Katsuki, Acting Ambassador of the Embassy of Japan, presented medical supplies valued at over USD 2.1 million to Dr. Ramesh Pathirana, Minister of Health at the Ministry of Health.

The donation, part of the “ENSURE: Ensuring access to life-saving sexual & reproductive health and providing gender-based violence prevention and response services for women, girls, and vulnerable groups” project, is funded by the Government of Japan. The overall project, totaling USD 4.6 million, aims to address the economic crisis in Sri Lanka and support women in vulnerable communities by providing essential health services and gender-based violence prevention and response initiatives.

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