United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)

UNFPA is the lead UN agency for delivering a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled.

UNFPA started its assistance to the Republic of Azerbaijan in 1994 to address the reproductive health concerns of the population. This milestone year also marked the initiation of a long-term partnership with the Republican Centre for Family Planning, which has delivered a comprehensive range of reproductive health services to the population. UNFPA also helped to establish the first ever family planning centers in the country in order to increase community awareness of and access to modern methods of contraception. In 1997, the first nationwide training programme on reproductive health and family planning was introduced.

UNFPA has expanded the scope of its strategic interventions in Azerbaijan with an increased focus on the availability of population data and advocacy for gender equality since becoming a fully-fledged country office in 1996. The Country Office joined efforts with the Government, civil society organizations, private sector, bilateral and multilateral partners to accelerate progress on the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) agenda in Azerbaijan through contributions to the national development priorities.

The concerted efforts of the organization to advocate for strengthened national health systems for the purposes of improved family planning led to the adoption of the first ever National Reproductive Health Strategy of the Republic of Azerbaijan (2008-2015).

UNFPA in Azerbaijan focuses on enhancing the national capacity to improve the availability, accessibility and utilization of population data as a basis for formulating, implementing and monitoring national policies and programmes to appropriately address both current and future needs. Substantive support was rendered to the Government for conducting the first post-independence (1999) and subsequent (2009) National Population Censuses. A series of quantitative and qualitative surveys and studies have been conducted to generate knowledge and evidence regarding population dynamics and its interlinkages with sexual and reproductive health and rights and gender equality in line with national priorities. The endorsement of the Concept of the Demographic Development followed by the development of the State Program on Population Development and Demography has been acknowledged as a milestone achievement reflecting the Government’s efforts and commitment to better address population and development issues in the country.

As the lead UN agency for gender equality in Azerbaijan UNFPA provides support to the Government to create an enabling legal and policy environment for the promotion of gender equality and women’s empowerment. Advocacy efforts to bring the national legislation concerning the women into full compliance with the provisions of the UN Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) have led to the adoption of two landmark laws on the Provisions of Gender Equality (2006) and on Prevention of Domestic Violence (2010). To build upon these achievements UNFPA continues its efforts for the establishment of a national referral mechanism for the victims of gender based violence. UNFPA has taken a lead in efforts to address gender based discrimination including such harmful practices as gender biased sex selection and early marriages to contribute to the full realization of gender equality and women’s rights in the country.

Recognizing the vital importance of providing opportunities for young people to learn about and protect their own health, UNFPA’s support also focuses on out of school education on sexual and reproductive health and rights. UNFPA’s experience shows that including young people in issues that directly affect them contributes to their self-confidence, allows them to fully enjoy their fundamental human rights and eventually leads to better decisions.

Global website: www.unfpa.org

Global website: www.eeca.unfpa.org

Global website: data.unfpa.org/docs/aze

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