Friday, October 12, 2007
The United Nations Fund for Population Activities was started in 1969 and renamed the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in 1987. The United Nations Population Fund is the world's largest international source of funding for population and reproductive health programs. The Fund works with governments and non-governmental organizations in over 140 countries with the support of the international community, supporting programs that help women, men and young people:
Together, these elements promote the human right of "reproductive health", that is physical, mental, and social health in matters related to reproduction and the reproductive system.
In addition to direct action, the Fund raises awareness of these needs worldwide, advocates close attention to population problems, and helps needy countries formulate policies and strategies in support of sustainable development. Since 2001, it has been led by Thoraya Ahmed Obaid. The Fund is also represented by UNFPA Goodwill Ambassadors.
UNFPA's work is guided by the Programme of Action adopted by 179 governments at the International Conference on Population and Development in 1994. The conference agreed that meeting people's needs for education and health, including reproductive health, is a prerequisite of sustainable development.
The main goals of the Programme of Action are:
These goals were refined in 1999. One of the most important additions concerned HIV:
The Fund promotes a holistic approach to reproductive health care that includes access to a range of safe and affordable contraceptive methods and to sensitive counseling; prenatal care, attended deliveries, emergency obstetric care and post-natal care; and prevention of sexually transmitted infections by promoting safer sexual behavior.
UNFPA looks to improve the lives and expand the choices of individuals and couples. After time, the reproductive choices they choose, multiplied across communities and countries, affect population construction and trends.
The work of the agency revolves around improving reproductive health, making motherhood safer, supporting adolescence and youth, preventing HIV/Aids, promoting gender equality, protecting human rights securing reproductive health supplies and through this they use a culturally sensitive approach. Their major countries in need are third world countries who deal with these major problems.
The UNFPA supports programmes in four areas, the Arab States and Europe, Asia and the Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the sub-Saharan Africa. They work in more the 140 countries, territories and areas. Around three quarters of the staff work in the field.
The UNFPA works in partnership with other United Nations agencies, governments and communities. Working together, the agency raises awareness and assembles the support and resources needed to attain the targets presented in the Millennium Goals and at the International Conference on Population and Development.
Some of the UNFPA work involves the lead in providing supplies and services to protect reproductive health. They also encourage the participation of young people and women to help rebuild their societies who are affected by poor reproductive health which expands out into areas such as prevention of sexually transmitted diseases including HIV/Aids.
plan their families and avoid unwanted pregnancies
undergo pregnancy and childbirth safely
avoid sexually transmitted infections
combat violence against women
promote the equality of women
Universal access to reproductive health services by 2015
Universal primary education and closing the gender gap in education by 2015
Reducing maternal mortality by seventy-five percent by 2015
Reducing infant mortality
Increasing life expectancy
HIV infection rates in persons 15-24 years of age should be reduced by twenty-five percent in the most-affected countries by 2005 and by twenty-five percent globally by 2010. Role of the UNFPA
The UNFPA executive director stresses the need to broaden participation and overcome mistrust among partners.
Stephen Moore, of the Cato Institute, has leveled criticism on UNFPA, namely in their support of Chinese Population Control measures, in which he makes the claims that women in any trimester of pregnancy are strapped down, and their children aborted by the government, against their will, using UNFPA funds.
Similar teams sent by the British Parliment and the United Nations found the same result.
UNFPA and the United States Government
The European Union funds the UNFPA and under the Sandbaek report increased the funding in 2003, after the United States denied funding.
Posted by so2374 at 8:23 AM