Two million additional cases of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) may occur over the next decade as COVID-19 “shutters schools and disrupts programs that help protect girls from this harmful practice”, Unicef warned.
The warning came in a joint statement by Unicef Executive Director Henrietta Fore and UNFPA Executive Director Natalia Kanem issued on Friday which also marked the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation.
“We must act now to stop this from happening,” the joint statement said.
“Even before COVID-19 upended progress, the Sustainable Development Goals target of ending FGM by 2030 was an ambitious commitment.
“Far from dampening our ambition, however, the pandemic has sharpened our resolve to protect the 4 million girls and women who are at risk of FGM each year,” it added.
Ending female genital mutilation requires collaboration among a wide group of stakeholders and funding, according to the two UN agencies.
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