UNFPA Pacific Sub-Regional Office
Recently, UNFPA has embarked on joint efforts with UNDP and UNICEF to setup Joint Presence in seven countries, these are the Federated States of Micronesia; the Republic of Kiribati; the Republic of the Marshall Islands; the Republic of Nauru; the Republic of Palau; Tuvalu; and the Republic of Vanuatu. This strengthened presence in the Pacific comes as part of its commitment to UN Reform. UNFPA's presence has also been strengthened in Solomon Islands and Samoa (jointly with UNICEF). UNFPA will continue to work with countries in using population data for policies and programme 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 Pacific Sub-Regional Office (SRO) seeks to improve the lives and expand the choices of Pacific peoples through providing programming and technical assistance to increase the availability of a broad range of reproductive health services and commodities to all women, young people and men. UNFPA provides assistance to Pacific Island governments, at their request, to formulate population, reproductive health and gender policies and strategies to reduce poverty and support sustainable development. Assistance is also provided to Pacific Island countries to collect and analyse population data that can help governments understand population trends. The Pacific SRO recognizes that reproductive health, education and gender equality are pre-requisites for sustainable development and poverty reduction and that the integration of population issues into national development strategies is essential.
Strengthening Reproductive Health: At the country level, UNFPA supports the strengthening and expansion of quality Reproductive Health information and services through the development of Reproductive Health protocols, IEC materials, outreach programmes, midwifery training and the upgrading of knowledge and skills of other health professionals. UNFPA also provides technical assistance for the development of RH policies and strategies at the regional level, UNFPA funds a post-graduate certificate in Reproductive Health at the Fiji School of Medicine. UNFPA also conducts regional RH Technical trainings annually.
Securing Supplies for People: Protecting reproductive health requires sustained, uninterrupted access to RH commodities, including various types of contraceptives, essential maternal drugs, delivery kits and other medical supplies. UNFPA supplies Reproductive Health commodities to 14 PICs from its Regional warehouse in Suva. In efforts to strengthen security of Reproductive Health commodities, UNFPA conducts various regional and in-country trainings to ensure adequate management, logistics support and timely delivery of RH commodities as well as support for strategies aimed at improving access. UNFPA is the main provider of contraceptives in the region.
Prevention and Treatment of STIs and prevention of HIV: In the area of HIV/AIDS, UNFPA's role focuses on STI prevention and treatment and on HIV prevention. UNFPA is party to the Pacific Regional HIV/AIDS Strategy Implementation Plan (PRHSIP) and to the joint work plan produced by UN agencies to coordinate their activities in HIV/AIDS in support of the PRHSIP. UNFPA‘s principal role in the PRHSIP focuses on: i. Developing advocacy packages on priority HIV/AIDS and developmental issues and distributing them to delegates attending regional meetings; ii. Providing support for the development of country specific voluntary and confidential counseling testing (VCCT) information campaigns to targeted subgroups and; iii. Supporting free condom distribution to vulnerable and high risk groups through targeted distribution centers and non-state actors.
Supporting Adolescents and Youth: UNFPA works to ensure that adolescents and young people (both in and out of school) have full access to reproductive health services and information to protect themselves against unwanted pregnancy, STIs including HIV/AIDS and sexual exploitation through the Regional Adolescent Health and Development (AHD) Programme, in partnership with SPC and UNICEF. UNFPA supports improving availability and accessibility of quality information, education and services for young people, both in and out of school. The programme also strengthens ARH centers, upgrades the skills and knowledge of service providers in counseling and the delivery of youth-friendly services and supports peer education programmes. The Programme works to mainstream family life education and sex education into the curriculum of Primary and Secondary schools, as well as in the training curriculum of teachers in various countries in the Pacific.
Promoting Gender Equality: UNFPA brings gender issues to wider attention, promotes legal and policy reforms and facilities gender relevant data collection and initiatives that can improve the status of women at every stage of their lives. In collaboration with SPC and other UN agencies, UNFPA is working towards increasing the amount of reliable and solid data on gender-based violence (GBV) in the region. It funded a study in Samoa and recently completed studies in Kiribati and Solomon Islands. It is also supporting targeted interventions on GBV following the studies in these countries. UNFPA is also actively supporting the work of UNIFEM, UNDP, RRRT and others in following up CEDAW
Advancing Population and Development Strategies: Population factors impact every aspect of sustainable development including poverty, urbanization, HIV/AIDS, ageing, environmental security, migration, gender issues and reproductive health. UNFPA, in collaboration with SPC, works with national decision makers and planners to clarify these linkages and to include them in their national planning and policies. At the regional level, UNFPA collaborates with SPC to advance national capacity to analyze data collection, formulate and monitor evidence-based policies. The Fund also provides technical and financial support for timely data collection and analysis of censuses, demographic health surveys and various surveys for the monitoring of population and development particularly MDGs and ICPD. UNFPA also works very closely with Parliamentarians on various Reproductive Health and Population and Gender issues through advocacy interventions.