The European Union (EU) and the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS) today signed financing agreements for the Pacific Regional Integration Support Programme (EUR 37 million, approximately 88.9 million FJD) and the Investment Facility for the Pacific (EUR 57 million, approximately 137 million FJD). The agreements were signed by the Secretary-General of the PIFS, Meg Taylor, DBE, and the Head of Cooperation at the EU Delegation for the Pacific, Mr Christoph Wagner, in the margins of the Pacific ACP Trade Ministers Meeting held in PIFS Head Quarters, Suva.
“It’s all still in my head, where it happened, who held me down, the balcony above me. And how it was all masked by a party with gifts and music.” Mariam, born in Djibouti, recounts her traumatic experience when she was 5 years old. As a young woman she joined a movement to end female genital mutilation in her country and vowed never to do this to her own daughter. However, in Mariam’s absence, her traditionalist mother arranged to have the baby cut and some months later the child died from an infection. The EU is adamant to end this inhumane act of female genital mutilation and supports UNICEF in its educational programmes with UNFPA on women's and children's rights and health risks.