In 2021, UNFPA continued to respond to the needs of women and girls with speed and resourcefulness, despite the continuing challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Despite severe disruptions to family planning supply chains and services, overstretched health systems, and a rising tide of gender-based violence, the organization recorded its best performance in achieving the key results of its strategic plan. quadrennial. UNFPA’s humanitarian operations alone have provided more than 29 million women with sexual and reproductive health information and services, supported 1.5 million safe deliveries and helped millions of survivors of violence sexist this year. Telehealth services, online and telephone psychosocial support and digital learning have been seamlessly integrated into many programs and operations, enabling UNFPA to reach more people, in more demanding environments, than never before.
These successes are testament to the insight, vision and leadership of our field offices around the world. They also highlight UNFPA’s enhanced collaboration and support for grassroots, women-led and feminist-led organizations. We have seen this in the Eastern and Southern Africa region, where UNFPA has worked with various stakeholders to ensure ownership and buy-in for programs at all levels – from working with religious leaders to preventing female genital mutilation, advocating for the minimum age of consent in marriage laws and training government agencies on data collection. In Latin America and the Caribbean, UNFPA focused on national, regional and international efforts to uphold the rights of excluded people, including through comprehensive strategies to reach and empower marginalized groups.
UNFPA has also risen to the challenge amid growing calls for support on population issues. In Eastern Europe and Central Asia, UNFPA priorities included responding to demographic challenges, culminating in the launch of the Decade of Demographic Resilience, which aims to galvanize evidence-based action and human rights. man. In West and Central Africa, UNFPA worked through the Women’s Empowerment and Demographic Dividend Project in the Sahel to address issues related to education and employment, access universal to sexual and reproductive health and rights and gender equality. In the Arab States, the focus was on public awareness and service delivery, as well as the launch of a tool to track and measure progress in protecting sexual and reproductive health and rights . And in the Asia and Pacific region, UNFPA has been able to deliver lifesaving services to women and girls in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Myanmar and elsewhere, while scaling up advocacy for population policies grounded in human rights.
UNFPA is now closing the chapter on its 2018-2021 strategic plan, a period that has seen both unprecedented ambition – in the form of UNFPA’s transformative results – and unprecedented turmoil. This experience has strengthened our organization. We are undeterred in our goals and know that we can and will continue to deliver to women and girls.