UNFPA is the lead UN agency for delivering a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled.
Where every pregnancy is wanted
International agreements going back decades affirm, that it is a human right to decide whether to have children, when and how many. Still, 232 million women, who would like to prevent pregnancy, do not have access to contraception.
UNFPA is the world’s largest procurer of contraception for public funds. UNFPA works to ensure that young people, women and men have access to contraception to protect themselves against unwanted pregnancy and sexual transmitted diseases like HIV/AIDS – also in humanitarian crises. UNFPA supports access to age-appropriate sexuality education and other information.
Where every birth is safe
Every year 295,000 women die from pregnancy and birth related causes. Maternal mortality is one of the main causes of death among 15-19 year old girls in developing countries. But women do not have to die when they give life. Access to qualified assistance at birth and to emergency services such as C-sections, blood transfusions and essential medicines, save lives.
UNFPA educates midwives; strengthens health systems; improves referral to emergency services including possibilities for transport. UNFPA prevents and treats birth injuries such as fistula. UNFPA supplies medicines and equipment for women to deliver safely – also during humanitarian crises.
Where every young person’s potential is fulfilled
In developing countries (excluding China), one in every four girls is married, before they turn 18. Thousands of girls are subjected to female genital mutilation (FGM) every day. Child marriage and FGM are considered violations of the children’s rights which result in adolescents living adult lives instead of preparing for it.
UNFPA supports age-appropriate sexuality education; improves young peoples’ access to contraception, and works to end harmful traditional practices such as child marriage and FGM.
Investing in young people, especially adolescent girls, is one of the smartest investments a country can make. Young people, who can stay in school and postpone childbearing, until they decide to have children is key to breaking the cycle of poverty; they can contribute positively to development. As adults, they can invest more in the health and education of their children. This constitutes a positive spiral for the benefit of the individual, the family and society as a whole.
UNFPA in the world
UNFPA works in more than 150 countries and since UNFPA began its work in 1969 the number and proportion of women dying from pregnancy and childbirth related causes have been halved. Families are smaller and healthier. Young people have more opportunities and better access to information, contraception – and to each other – than ever before.
UNFPA in UN City
UNFPA has two entities in UN City: UNFPA Nordic Office liaises with partners including governments, members of parliaments, civil society organizations and media in the Nordic countries. UNFPA Procurement Services Branch handles procurement of contraceptive and related commodities to developing countries. UNFPA is the largest global procurer of contraceptives for public funds. In total, UNFPA has around 60 staff members in the UN City.