For more than 30 years, the United Nations Population Fund has sought
to improve reproductive health and family planning in the developing world
and to help all countries find an equitable, sustainable balance between
population and development.
In the year 2000, UNFPA provided assistance to 142 developing nations,
with special emphasis on increasing the quality of reproductive health
services, ending gender discrimination and violence, formulating effective
population policies and reducing the spread of HIV/AIDS.
The impact of AIDS in particular illustrated the need for greater
investments in public health. Such investments are crucial if we are to
break the debilitating cycle of ill health and poverty. And to make the
most of such investments, we must give priority to women and make sure
they have the freedom, knowledge and power to make healthy decisions. When
women have no say, they cannot protect themselves from HIV infection or
plan their families and futures. But when women are empowered through
better education and health care, the benefits are immediate: families are
healthier, and so are countries.
This annual report documents UNFPA’s diverse efforts as the world’s
largest multilateral source of population funding and largest supplier of
condoms and other reproductive health commodities. By helping people make
informed, responsible and free choices about their reproductive health,
UNFPA brings us closer each day to achieving the population and
development goals we have set for ourselves and our planet.
Kofi A. Annan
of the United Nations
Photo: UN/DPI / Milton Grant