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Statement of Sarah Costa, Executive Director of the Women’s Refugee Commission, on the passing of UNFPA Executive Director Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin

NEW YORK – In response to today’s announcement of UNFPA Executive Director Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin’s passing, Women’s Refugee Commission (WRC) Executive Director Sarah Costa issued the following statement:

“On behalf of the Women’s Refugee Commission, I want to express our deepest condolences to Dr. Osotimehin’s family, friends, and UNFPA staff during this difficult time. He brought to UNFPA significant service experience and a deep understanding of family planning and adolescent girls’ needs including in humanitarian settings. He will be sorely missed.

“It has been WRC’s great pleasure to work alongside UNFPA to address the family planning needs of refugee and migrant women and girls including advancing minimum standards for reproductive health care in crisis-affected settings. These critical steps in promoting the sexual health and rights of refugee women were directly reflective of Dr. Osotimehim’s vision for women and girls globally.

While his death leaves a leadership gap at a critical moment, we know that UNFPA will carry on Dr. Osotimehin’s work, ensuring his remarkable legacy of standing up for the dignity and rights of all and WRC remains committed to partnering with UNFPA.” 

Prior to being appointed as UNFPA executive director, Dr. Osotimehin served as Nigeria’s minister of health and was director-general of the National Agency for the Control of AIDS.