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UNFPA in The Gambia

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)’s primary role is to promote the rights of every woman, man and child to enjoy a life of health and equal opportunity within the reproductive health and population context. UNFPA strives to ensure universal access to reproductive health, including family planning and sexual health to individuals and couples. It also focuses on support to population and development strategies for capacity building in population programming, promotion and awareness of population and development issues, and advocacy for resource mobilisation. UNFPA supports countries in using population data for policies and programmes to reduce poverty and to ensure that every pregnancy is wanted, every birth is safe, every young person is free of HIV and AIDS, and every girl and woman is treated with dignity and respect.

UNFPA’s mandate is to:

  • To build the knowledge and the capacity to respond to needs in population and family planning;
  • To promote awareness of population problems in both developed and developing countries and possible strategies to deal with these problems;
  • To assist developing countries, at their request, in dealing with their population problems, in the forms and means best suited to the individual country’s needs; and
  • To play a leading role in the United Nations System in promoting population programmes, and to coordinate projects supported by the Fund.

In The Gambia, the agency has been working with the Government of The Gambia since 1972 to achieve universal access to reproductive health, to realize gender equality and women’s empowerment and to help monitor, analyse and respond to rapidly changing population trends. It is the leading Agency in The Gambia for support to population, reproductive health and gender policies.

UNFPA provides assistance focusing on:

  • improvement of reproductive health and universal access to family planning services on the basis of individual choice;
  • formulation of population policies in support of efforts towards sustained and sustainable development;
  • and, is the lead agency in providing support in the conduct of population and housing censuses.

UNFPA is an advocate for the goals of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) including: (1) Better health for all, but especially for women and girl children; (2) Education for all, but especially for women and girl children; (3) Women’s empowerment and gender equity; (4) International consensus on population and sustainable development; and, (5) Early stabilization of the world population.

There are 7 project components, which comprise UNFPA’s support in The Gambia:

  • Adolescent Reproductive Health
  • Integrated Reproductive Health
  • Population Programme Management
  • Population and Family Life Education (PoPFLE)
  • Gender
  • Data Collection and Analysis
  • Advocacy and IEC