UNFPA is the United Nations sexual and reproductive health agency. Our mission is to deliver a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person's potential is fulfilled.
We promote gender equality and empower women, girls and young people to take control of their bodies and their futures. We work with partners in more than 150 countries to provide access to a wide range of sexual and reproductive health services. Our goal is ending unmet need for family planning, preventable maternal death, and gender-based violence and harmful practices including child marriage and female genital mutilation by 2030.
Our motto is:
“Ensuring rights and choices for all.”
The agency began operating in 1969 as the United Nations Fund for Population Activities, the same year the United Nations General Assembly declared “parents have the exclusive right to determine freely and responsibly the number and spacing of their children.” While its name was changed to the United Nations Population Fund in 1987, the original acronym remains.
The goal of UNFPA is to ensure sexual and reproductive rights and choices for all, especially women and young people, so that they can access high-quality sexual and reproductive health services, including voluntary family planning, maternal health care and comprehensive sexuality education.
All of our work is grounded in human rights and respect for culture.
The International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), held in Cairo in 1994, made women’s empowerment and autonomy a basis for sustainable economic and social progress. The ICPD Programme of Action adopted by 179 governments in Cairo and the 2019 Nairobi Statement, a recommitment to that programme within the context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, has guided our work since. Our programmes, which operate in more than 150 countries and territories with 80 per cent of the world’s population, further the realization of sexual and reproductive rights and choices.
OUR 3 TRANSFORMATIVE RESULTS
In 2018, UNFPA launched efforts to achieve three transformative results, also known as the three zeros, by 2030:
Ending unmet need for family planning
Zero unmet need for family planning. We are the world’s single-largest provider of donated contraceptives to developing countries, and our programmes increase the availability of contraceptives and dismantle barriers to services.
Ending preventable maternal death
Zero preventable maternal deaths. We help strengthen health systems, train and educate health workers and midwives, and improve access to a full range of reproductive health services. Our support for women’s maternal health is especially significant in 32 countries with the highest rates of maternal mortality and morbidity.
Ending gender-based violence and harmful practices
Zero gender-based violence and harmful practices. We work with policymakers, justice systems and health systems and engage men and boys to advance gender equality. We protect survivors of gender-based violence by providing a combination of essential services, including in humanitarian crises.
OUR PLACE WITHIN THE UN SYSTEM
UNFPA is entirely supported by voluntary contributions of donor governments, intergovernmental organizations, the private sector and foundations and individuals, not by the United Nations regular budget. UNFPA, a subsidiary organ of the UN General Assembly, reports to the UNDP/UNFPA Executive Board of 36 UN Member States and receives overall policy guidance from the UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). The Fund collaborates with many other development and humanitarian agencies in the field, particularly WHO, UNICEF, UNDP and UNAIDS.
Updated May 2023