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World Population Day 2017 Family Planning: Empowering people, Developing Nations

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HA NOI, 11 July 2017 – Today, 11 July is World Population Day, with the theme on "Family Planning: Empowering people, Developing Nations. This year also marks the 40th Anniversary of cooperation between the Government of Viet Nam and UNFPA. On this occasion, Ministry of Health and the United Nations Population Fund  (UNFPA) in Viet Nam co-organize a Celebration of the 40th Anniversary of Viet Nam - UNFPA Cooperation.

Fifty years ago today, the then-Secretary-General of the United Nations established UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, as a trust fund. And since 1969, when UNFPA began operations, it has been helping to remove obstacles to family planning and to enable women to exercise their reproductive rights. UNFPA contributed to a near doubling of modern contraceptive use worldwide, from 36 per cent in 1970 to 64 per cent in 2016.

"As soon as Viet Nam became a member of the United Nations in 1977, UNFPA established a partnership with Viet Nam in the field of Population and Family Planning. Over the last forty years, UNFPA has made important contributions to Viet Nam's Population and Reproductive health/ Family Planning programs and become a leading agency in this area in Viet Nam," said Mr. Nguyen Viet Tien, Vice Minister of Health.

Over the past forty years, the cooperation of UNFPA has changed and matured overtime according to the stages in the development of Viet Nam and the evolution of the United Nations agreements and mechanisms relevant for UNFPA’s dual mandate in population and development, and sexual and reproductive health and rights.

In Viet Nam, the total fertility rate has fallen from an average of 5 children per couple (recorded in the 1970s) to 2.09 in 2016, reaching the replacement level. The Modern contraceptive prevalence rate increased from 37 per cent in 1988 to 67 per cent in 2016. The Maternal mortality rate has fallen from 233 per 100,000 live births in the 1990s to 69 per 100,000 live births in 2009 and 58.3 per 100,000 live births in 2016 – a dramatic improvement.

Despite dramatic progress, in Viet Nam and worldwide, enormous challenges remain: some 214 million women in developing countries lack safe and effective family planning methods. Most of these women live in the 69 poorest countries. Fulfilling their unmet demand would save lives by averting 67 million unintended pregnancies and reducing by one third the estimated 303,000 annual maternal deaths.

Better reproductive health care, including voluntary family planning, can bolster economies and contribute to sustainable development by empowering women to complete their education, join the paid labour force, be more productive in their jobs, earn higher incomes and increase savings and investments. In addition, for each additional dollar spent on contraceptive services above the current level, the cost of pregnancy-related care is reduced by $2.30.

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“Investing in family planning is investing in health and rights of women and couples worldwide. These investments also yield economic and other gains that can propel development forward and are thus critical to the success of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its accompanying 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),” said Mr. Kamal Malhotra, UN Resident Coordinator in Viet Nam.

"As we celebrate the 40th anniversary of our collaboration and partnership, I am confident that the partnership between UNFPA and Viet Nam will continue to thrive. I’m delighted to be here to reaffirm our continuing commitment to “delivering a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person's potential is fulfilled” and making sure that “nobody is left behind,” said Ms. Astrid Bant, UNFPA Representative in Viet Nam.

A photo exhibition on the 40th Anniversary of Cooperation between Viet Nam and UNFPA will be held from 11 to 16 July at the Photo Exhibition House, 93 Dinh Tien Hoang street, Ha Noi. This photo exhibition will showcase key achievements on Population and Development, Sexual and Reproductive Health, including voluntary family planning and Gender Equality.

On the Celebration, six Vietnamese celebrities will be appointed to be UNFPA Ambassadors: MC Phan Anh for all advocacy and communications activities;   Miss Viet Nam 2016 Do My Linh for Young People; Saxophonist Quyen Van Minh for Older Persons; Rocker Pham Anh Khoa for Prevention of Violence Against Women and Girls; Singer Duy Khoa for Prevention of Imbalanced Sex Ratio at Birth; and Actress Chieu Xuan for cervical cancer prevention.   


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