UNFPA provides women’s health care and promotes the rights of women around the world. It is the largest international source of such assistance. Investments in reproductive health save and improve women’s lives and slow the spread of HIV/AIDS.
When a woman can plan her family, she can participate more fully and equally in society.
Fact: An estimated 201 million women have an unmet need for effective contraception.
To meet this need women must have access to modern contraception, support from family and community members and accurate information about pregnancy and contraception.
Demand for family planning services is expected to increase by more than 40 percent in the next 15 years. There is evidence that currently fewer than 20 countries in the world have access to family planning at a reasonable cost.
As many as 50 percent of pregnancies are unplanned.
Meeting the existing demand for family planning would reduce maternal deaths and injuries by about one-third.
About 90 percent of global abortion-related deaths and disabilities could be avoided if women who wanted effective contraception had access to it.
Increased access to health services has resulted in women having about half as many children as they had in the 1960s. However, fertility remains highest in the poorest countries where access is low. With support from UNFPA, family planning use has increased globally from ten to roughly 65 percent of couples in the last thirty years.
No woman should die giving life.
Fact: Every minute a woman dies in childbirth somewhere in the world — 536,000 deaths per year — and almost all of them are preventable. While most other health indicators have improved in low-income countries over the last decades, maternal mortality and morbidity remain unconquered.
Up to 15 percent of pregnant women experience potentially fatal complications — 20 million women each year.
Approximately 5 percent of pregnant women — 7 million women — experience complications that require surgery, most often a caesarean section, and many are without access to emergency obstetric care. One result is 2 million women living with a disability such as obstetric fistula.
35 percent of pregnant women in low-income countries do not have access to or contact with health personnel prior to delivery.
More than 60 percent of maternal deaths take place during delivery or in the immediate post-partum period.
The most critical interventions for safe motherhood are universal access to contraception, a health worker with midwifery skill present at every birth and access to transportation to a more comprehensive level of obstetric care in case of an emergency.
UNFPA supports safe motherhood initiatives in roughly 90 countries. UNFPA’s maternal health programs resulted in significant reduction of maternal deaths in Bolivia, China, Egypt, Indonesia, Jamaica, Mongolia, and Zimbabwe in a single decade (1994-2004).
Large investments are needed to slow the spread of HIV/AIDS.
Fact: Each day 6,800 people are newly infected with HIV. 96 percent are in low or middle income countries.
Every day 5,700 people die because of inadequate access to HIV prevention and treatment services.
Worldwide15.4 million women live with HIV.
In sub-Saharan Africa, 61 percent of people living with HIV/AIDS are women. In some areas, young women are three times more likely than young men to become infected.
In Asia, a small percentage of HIV/AIDS infections used to be women. Today 42 percent of new infections in Asia are women, totaling 1.4 million women infected with HIV/AIDS.
In Eastern Europe and Central Asia, 416,000 women live with HIV/AIDS; an increase of 187 percent since 2001. 16 In Latin America, 1.6 million people are living with HIV/AIDS. Female sex workers are considered one of the largest at-risk groups.
UNFPA plays a leading role in global HIV/AIDS prevention. UNFPA has integrated voluntary HIV/ AIDS counseling and testing into reproductive health ser vices based in par t on the organization’s pilot projects around the world.
AMERICANS FOR UNFPA is dedicated to building American support for the work of UNFPA and to restoring the United States’ moral and financial contribution to the organization. Americans for UNFPA is a non-partisan, 501(c)(3) charitable organization funded by private foundations and individual donors.