Annual UN population prize awarded to US advocate and Malaysian NGO

16 March 2012 – A reproductive health advocate from the United States and a Malaysian non-governmental organization (NGO) specializing in family planning and sexual health will be this year’s recipients of the annual United Nations Population Award, it was announced today.

Ms. Adrienne Germain and the Federation of Reproductive Health Associations of Malaysia (FRHAM) were chosen by the Population Award Committee, a body administered by the UN Population Fund (UNFPA), in recognition of their contributions to improving public health.

Established by the General Assembly in 1981, the award is given annually to individuals and institutions for outstanding contributions to population concerns and their solutions.

Ms. Germain, the first scholar to develop the concept of reproductive health in 1987, has been a vocal proponent of family planning and is widely seen as a pioneer in linking fertility and population policies with the status of women since 1975, according to a news release issued by UNFPA.

In addition, she has served in leadership positions at the Population Council, the Ford Foundation and the International Women’s Health Coalition, where she served as President from 1998 to 2011.

Established in 1958, FRHAM is the leading NGO focusing on population, family planning and sexual and reproductive health in Malaysia. Over the years, it has expanded its activities to cover disadvantaged communities, including refugees, sex workers, and transsexual and marginalized youths, as well as providing multilingual publications educating the public in reproductive health issues.

The 2012 Population Awards will be presented at UN Headquarters in New York in June.

Past winners include philanthropists Bill and Melinda Gates, Iranian demographer Mohammad Jalal Abbasi-Shavazi and Dame Billie Antoinette Miller, a former foreign minister of Barbados.

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