UNFPA is the lead UN agency for delivering a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every birth is safe, and every young person’s potential is fulfilled.
Ensuring every pregnancy is wanted
Bearing children greatly impacts the life of a woman. That is why international agreements going back decades affirm that individuals should have the right and the means to freely decide when or if to start a family and how many children to bear. Yet, some 225 million women who want to avoid or delay childbearing still lack access to contraception.
UNFPA trains health workers to deliver quality family planning services; supplies contraceptives and provides counselling also in emergency situations; ensures youth-friendly reproductive health care; and educates men on the benefits of planned pregnancies.
Supporting maternal health
Every year 303,000 women die of pregnancy or childbirth related causes. Maternal death is a main cause of mortality among young girls 15-19 years old in developing countries. We know how to save almost all women who die giving life. The first step is to ensure they can plan their pregnancies and space their births. Skilled birth attendance at delivery, with backup emergency obstetric care and essential supplies in place, is also critical.
UNFPA trains midwives and health workers; prevents and treats obstetric fistula; supplies essential medicines and equipment as well as clean birthing kits following disasters; strengthens emergency obstetric care; and enables access to family planning.
Helping young people fulfil their potential
Young people have the right to accurate information and services related to sexuality and reproductive health. Empowered with knowledge and skills to protect themselves and make informed decisions, they can realize their full potential and contribute to economic and social transformation.
Investing in young people, especially adolescent girls, is one of the smartest investments a country can make. As parents, teachers and leaders of the next generation, they can help break the cycle of poverty, strengthen the social fabric and create a sustainable future.
UNFPA promotes the human rights of adolescents; prevents HIV infection; engages young people in leadership and in decisions that affect them; supports age-appropriate comprehensive sexuality education; creates safe spaces for adolescent girls; and encourages abandonment of harmful practices.
Since UNFPA started working in 1969, the number – and rate – of women dying from complications of pregnancy or childbirth has been halved. Families are smaller and healthier. Young people are more connected and empowered than ever before. UNFPA works in 158 countries around the world.
UNFPA in UN City
UNFPA is represented by two offices in UNCity: The UNFPA Nordic Office serves to liaise with key external partners including governments, parliaments, NGOs and media in the Nordic and Baltic countries covered by the office. UNFPA Procurement Services Branch procures contraceptives and related commodities for the developing world. Through its extensive experience and solid track record, UNFPA is today the largest public sector procurer of these items. The total number of UNFPA staff in UN City is around 80.