In the News

Chief of UNFPA Pledges to Strengthen Support for Afghan Maternal, Newborn Health

16 August 2011
Author: UNFPA

KABUL, Afghanistan — Without sufficient access to health services and education, Afghan women have too many children too frequently exposing them and their families to dangers, the head of UNFPA today said on his first official visit to a developing country in Asia.

“One in 16 women of reproductive health dies in child birth. For every one that dies, five or six have permanent damage. It is important that we put in place health services that prevent this from happening, and that we strengthen the ability of women to determine how many children they have,” Babatunde Osotimehin, Executive Director of UNFPA and UN Under-Secretary-General, told reporters in Kabul.

The average Afghan woman has 6.5 children, while data shows she wants only three or four, the Executive Director said, adding that Afghanistan’s population growth doubled in the last 30 years stressing economic development and making the country increasingly at risk for possible famines.

As part of the solution, the Executive Director noted education in directly linked to women having greater opportunities to make decisions about their bodies, make them less likely to marry early and more secure from gender-based violence.

During his visit, Osotimehin said he wanted to see firsthand the progress Afghanistan was making on the UN Secretary-General’s “Every Woman Every Child” campaign.

Read the full story from the United Nations Mission in Afghanistan website

Afghanistan
Population : 37.2 mil
Fertility rate
4.2
Maternal Mortality Ratio
396
Contraceptives prevalence rate
27
Population aged 10-24
35%
Youth secondary school enrollment
Boys 62%
Girls 36%

Related content

News
UNFPA delivered critical supplies to a remote settlement in Rukban, where residents have been stranded in the desert for years.
News
In the aftermath of the powerful earthquake that struck the Iraq-Iran border on 12 November, UNFPA has scaled up its emergency response to meet the needs of women and girls.
News
Motherhood should be a time of joy, but for too many women, it comes with something else: peril. "Becoming a mother and having a family was always a dream of mine.

Pages