UNFPA in Thailand
United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) started its programme of assistance to Thailand in 1971. Over the past years, UNFPA has worked with the Royal Thai Government, non-government organizations, academic and civil society in advancing the goals of the International Conference of Population Development (ICPD) and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in Thailand - focusing on improving access to the integrated reproductive health services, prevention of HIV/AIDS, enhancing data collection and use for development and response to emerging population issues such as ageing. UNFPA has provided technical assistance as well as nearly 50 million US dollars to the above areas.
The major focus of the current Ninth Country Programme of UNFPA covering 2007-2011 is on Reproductive Health (RH) and Population and Development (PD), with Gender as a mainstream cross-cutting issue in both programme areas. The key components of the current programme includes:
- Men's Involvement in Preventing HIV and Protecting Maternal and Child Health
The Government is working in partnership with UNFPA to improve maternal health through gender and culturally-sensitive approaches to vulnerable groups and by improving national standards. This includes timely provision of emergency obstetric care, skilled attendance at birth, and improved availability of quality reproductive health services, such as family planning and HIV information, counseling and services. Male involvement during pregnancy and dual protection (STI and pregnancy) from condom use is promoted to reduce the risk of HIV infection among pregnant women.
- Promoting Adolescent Reproductive Health
UNFPA is piloting school peer-education programmes that: emphasize the need to have a referral process for health services; support a web-based forum to promote knowledge exchange and sharing solutions among those who work to improve youth sexual and reproductive health; involve young people in decision making process; and expand right-based policies to promote healthy adolescent behavior and development.
- Addressing the Challenges of HIV/AIDS
Within the UN Country team in Thailand, UNFPA plays a lead role in comprehensive condom programming and HIV prevention among sex workers. Efforts concentrate on revitalizing and sustaining HIV prevention efforts to meet the country's target of 50 percent reduction in HIV infections by 2011. Strategies include: information sharing to influence policy development; strengthening capacity of stakeholders and partners for planning and implementing STI/HIV prevention efforts; active involvement of all stakeholders, including sex workers, community and civil society activist; enhancing the linkage of STI/HIV services with sexual and reproductive health; and promoting policy dialogue and advocacy on STI/HIV prevention in sex work environments.
- Enhancing Population Development Capacity
UNFPA plays an active role in capacity building, sharing experiences and lesson learned at national and sub-national levels under the Management Capacity Development (MCD) Project, and throughout the entire region under the South-South cooperation initiative with the Royal Thai Government. Networks have been established to develop alternative local-based learning models that enhance management capacity to improve the quality of reproductive health services and programmes.
- Responses to Emerging Challenges of Population Ageing
Concerted efforts amongst relevant government organizations, NGOs, and stakeholders at the national level (and pilot provinces) have made progress in addressing Thailand's rapidly ageing population, both at the national level and in pilot provinces. Key strategies include: policy advocacy and awareness raising; social and economic security; health care and services; enhancing participation in community life; and empowerment of older persons.
- MDG Monitoring
UNFPA provides support to the National Statistic Office for data collection, data analysis and dissemination of data on the following key areas: the Population and Housing Census, the National Reproductive Health Survey, and the National Older Persons Survey.