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Mr. Alain Sibenaler, UNFPA Representative, receives the award appreciation from Madam Shiranthi Rajapakse, First Lady of Sri Lanka in the presence of Hon. Minister of Women Development and Child Affairs, Mr. Tissa Karraliyadde

UNFPA Sri Lanka has been given an award by the First Lady of Sri Lanka, Madam Shiranthi Wickramasinghe Rajapaksa, in recognition of its year-long support towards the wellbeing of all women and girls in Sri Lanka. The award, was handed to the UNFPA Representative, Alain Sibenaler at a commemoration of the International Day of the Girl Child on 11 October 2013 and in the presence of Mr. Tissa Karraliyadde, Minister for Child Development and Women's Affairs and of Mr. Palitha Fernando, Attorney General of Sri Lanka.

"Our strong partnership over the last years with the Government of Sri Lanka has been most fruitful in ensuring the wellbeing of women and girls in Sri Lanka, by focusing our efforts on areas where most attention is needed, such as in the prevention of gender-based violence and the advancement of reproductive rights. We look forward to continuing our support to the Government in empowering and providing opportunities for all Sri Lankan girls to reach their full potential" said Mr. Alain Sibenaler, UNFPA Representative in Sri Lanka, speaking at the event. He also acknowledged the tremendous contributions made by all UNFPA colleagues in Sri Lanka and paid tribute to the leadership of the outgoing Representative Ms. Lene K. Christiansen. 

In Sri Lanka, UNFPA has been at the forefront in bringing gender sensitive issues to wider attention, promoting legal and policy reforms, gender-sensitive data collection, and supporting programmes that empower women. One key area of support has been to create a network of services for women and girls through the establishment of women centers at the village level. These centers provide safe spaces and support services for women subjected to, or at risk from, gender-based violence.