UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, is the UN agency that aims to deliver a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every birth is safe, and every young person's potential is fulfilled through achieving universal access to sexual and reproductive health, promoting reproductive rights, reducing maternal mortality, and accelerating progress on the ICPD agenda.
UNFPA began operations in Botswana in 1971 and develops Country Programme Document every five years with Government and Non-Governmental Organizations.
Population and Development: Strengthened, accountable and responsive governing institutions, and evidence-based decision-making.
Reproductive health and rights: Access to and utilization of high-quality services for sexual and reproductive health and HIV and AIDS are enhanced.
Gender Equality: Gender is mainstreamed into laws, policies, plans and programmes, and gender-based violence is reduced.
Botswana is among countries in Southern Africa with the highest burden of HIV with a national HIV prevalence of 18.5%. Women and young people are particularly affected, young women more so. A contributing factor is gender-based violence (GBV), which remains widespread at over 67%, double the global average. Where there is gender-based violence reproductive rights are not respected, particularly for women and girls who are the majority of the victims.
There are high rates of pregnancy-related school drop-outs. The country also faces an unprecedented rise in the number of adolescents and young people. There is a high population growth rate, the result of a substantial decrease in mortality rates and high fertility. With this change in the age structure towards a more youthful population, the country has an opportunity to harness the demographic dividend. This is why meaningful action and right investments are required in the areas of health – including sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), family planning and HIV reduction – education and employment to make the demographic dividend work for economic growth and development transformation in the country.