UNFPA reports 6 million FGM abandonments in 2012

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and Unicef have published the latest annual report on the achievements of the Joint Programme on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)/Cutting, suggesting that over six million people have embraced efforts to eliminate the practice.

Focusing on the 29 countries in Africa and the Middle East where FGM is most concentrated, the organisations recorded 1,839 community-wide, public abandonments - representing 6,337,912 individuals - in 2012.

Nafissatou Diop, coordinator of the Joint Programme, said: "As our latest report documents, we are seeing winds of change sweeping over the region, from Senegal to Djibouti."

He added that as the initiative continues - adopting Resolution 67/146, which calls for "intensified efforts" to combat FGM and was voted for unanimously by the UN General Assembly - the UNFPA and Unicef would "scale up" operations in 15 priority countries.

The Joint Programme was launched in 2008 and has since been extended for a second five-year cycle.