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United Nations Population Fund

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(Redirected from UNFPA)

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 the 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. 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 Cairo 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:

  • 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

These goals were refined in 1999. One of the most important additions concerned HIV:

  • 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.

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 counselling; prenatal care, attended deliveries, emergency obstetric care and post-natal care; and prevention of sexually transmitted infections by promoting safer sexual behavior.

UNFPA and the United States Government

In 2002, 2003, and 2004, the White House denied funding to UNFPA that had already been allocated by the U.S. Congress, on the grounds that the UNFPA supported forced abortions and sterilisations in China. Nonprofit organizations have sprung up in an attempt to compensate by raising private donations:

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