News

A Multi-Faceted Campaign to Promote Awareness around Challenges of a World at 7 Billion

21 November 2011

 

 

 

 

 

In the context of the 7 Billion Campaign, UNFPA Lebanon conducted a series of activities to focus attention on the urgency and importance of population issues in Lebanon.

Partnership with the Media

Throughout August, September and October, with peaks during October’s 7-Day Countdown and 7 Billion Day, UNFPA Lebanon mobilized national media and succeeded in engaging it in raising awareness on the themes of the campaign. 

The objective of the partnership with the media was to increase the understanding of the specific challenges facing Lebanon in a world population of 7 billion by providing statistics, analysis and recommendations as to how these challenges could be met at the country level. 
To this effect, UNFPA Lebanon produced a set of 6 statistical factsheets compiling recent data on each of the messages of the campaign. In parallel, UNFPA partnered with 9 renowned national scholars and researchers, each specialized in the Campaign’ themes respectively, and mobilized them to act as experts throughout the campaign. UNFPA staff were also featured in some of these media coverage. 
The result was astonishing: The 7 Billion Campaign was covered all over the public sphere with a total of 104 media products issued. Those were diffused on national (and in some cases pan-Arab) newspapers, TV, radios, websites and magazines. Whether in Arabic, English or French, the products varied in forms and included investigative reports, in-series articles, special supplements, special pages, Op-Eds, Vox pops, videos, peak time TV news reports, live debate shows, talk shows, interviews, and even caricatures.

Welcoming Lebanese 7 Billionth Babies 

On October 31, and in an attempt to concretize the symbolic importance of the 7 Billion Day, UNFPA organized a campaign to welcome the Lebanese 7 Billionth babies. This initiative was organized jointly with the Ministry of Public Health and the Lebanese Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology. The initiative attempted to reach every girl and boy born on 31 October, from dusk till dawn and was implemented in 17 public hospitals nationwide. 

In these 17 maternity wards, midwives distributed welcome packages to newborns and their mothers. Packages included promotional baby material around the 7 billion logo as well as informative pamphlets providing guidance on neonatal, family planning and sexual and reproductive health to both parents. Newborns were also provided with a birth certificate outlining their commitment to safeguard the future of the planet, as a reminder of the shared responsibility to care for each other.

The event was largely covered by the media and was enthusiastically received by the parents who expressed their happiness to be part of such a significant event. Hyam El Zein from Zahle hoped for her newborn girl Rahaf to “grow up in a world better than ours, with no wars and better economic situation”. Both Hyam and her husband Ahmad agreed that they will allow enough spacing should they decide to have a third child.

Lebanon in a World of 7 Billion Booklet

In addition, UNFPA is currently finalizing a statistical booklet on “Lebanon in a world of 7 billion”, in collaboration with the Ministry of Social Affairs. The booklet compiles 36 country-specific indicators pertinent to the campaign’s 7 thematic areas. 

This advocacy tool targets media professionals and key stakeholders, such as parliamentarians, officials in public administrations, researchers, NGOs. It was designed for drawing their attention on priority population issues, and will act as an important source of concise and friendly information on main indicators at the national level. The booklet will be issued in a bilingual version and will be launched in December.

7B Imagery Display

In parallel, and to increase the impact of the campaign, UNFPA initiated a Facebook page and used this viral space to promote message and graphics of the 7 Billion Campaign on a daily basis and in a variety of ways. The CO website was also invested by the Campaign and provided a profusion of information and links to the campaign. Even the office’s letterheads and envelopes were dressed up with 7 Billion logos and graphics.