Sweden has earmarked 48 million kronor ($7 million) of its development aid budget to a United Nations programme to tackle female genital mutilation.

The Swedish funds come from existing aid budgets but have been re-allocated to focus specifically on the issue.

"The situation of girls and women is a highly prioritized area within Swedish development aid. Female genital mutilation (FGM) must be eradicated within a generation," Sweden's development aid minister Hillevi Engström said via Twitter.

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