UNFPA Definition and Meaning

According to ABBREVIATIONFINDER, United Nations Population Fund is known by its acronym UNFPA. International development cooperation agency, which promotes the right of every woman, man, adolescent, boy and girl to enjoy a healthy life, with equal opportunities for all, without exclusion for reasons of gender, age or ethnicity. In particular, it reaffirms its commitment in favor of sexual and reproductive health, gender equality – as well as the autonomy and empowerment of women around the world -, the reduction of HIV / AIDS, the reduction of adolescent and youth vulnerabilities, the promotion of human rights, and the reduction of poverty.


It was created in July 1967 and began to support population programs in 1969 at the initiative of the United Nations General Assembly. This Fund is the main source of population assistance to developing countries and countries with economies in transition that have international funding.

It guides and promotes the principles of the Program of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD), held in 1994 in Cairo, and its direct link to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), targets agreed in 2000 by world leaders to cut extreme poverty in half.

UNFPA broadens the scope of its work by working with civil society, academic institutions, and the private sector and other agencies to advance its mission. In 2013, it formed a Civil Society Consultative Group to foster dialogue with organizations, networks and partners on programming and policies. It also works regularly with parliamentarians to review progress in the implementation of the ICPD Program of Action.

UNFPA also manages and participates in various common funding mechanisms – including multi-donor and joint program trust funds – at the national, regional and global levels.

Inside the UN

It is a subsidiary body of the United Nations General Assembly. It plays a unique role within the United Nations system in addressing population and development issues, with an emphasis on reproductive health and gender equality, in the context of the ICPD Program of Action and international development goals.

It receives general normative guidance from the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). It reports to its governing body, the UNDP / UNFPA Executive Board, on administrative, financial and programmatic matters.

It works closely with many other humanitarian and development agencies (specifically WHO, UNICEF, UNDP and UNAIDS) in this area.

The Fund contributes to discussions on some 150 items on the General Assembly agenda, participates in the functional and regional commissions of ECOSOC, and works closely with other entities, such as the Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues and the Human Rights Council.

It also provides technical input to the General Assembly when it formulates policies related to the UNFPA mandate.

UNFPA is one of the four founding members of the United Nations Development Group (UNDG), which was created by the Secretary-General in 1997 to enhance the United Nations’ development coherence at the national level.

He also participates in inter-institutional processes and collaborations, is a member of the Board of Chief Executives for Coordination (CEB), which is the main instrument for the executive heads of the United Nations system to coordinate their actions and policies. CEB is chaired by the Secretary General of the United Nations.

UNFPA does not receive support from the regular budget of the United Nations, but from voluntary contributions from governments. It also receives contributions from groups, foundations and individuals from the private sector.


The agency promotes the right of every woman, man and child to enjoy a healthy life, with equal opportunities for all. Supports countries in the use of socio-demographic data for the formulation of policies and programs to reduce poverty, and to ensure that every pregnancy is desired, all deliveries are safe, all young people are free of HIV / AIDS and all girls and women are treated with dignity and respect.

It collaborates with governments and non-governmental organizations in more than 150 countries supporting programs that promote sexual and reproductive health, as a fundamental part of people’s rights.


The agency works in more than 150 countries and territories that are home to the vast majority of the world’s population. Its work is based on an understanding of population dynamics, human rights and respect for cultural differences; on the premise that all human beings have the right to equal rights and protections. Focusing on women and youth because they are groups whose ability to exercise their right to sexual and reproductive health is often compromised.

UNFPA takes a human rights-based approach in all its work. This implies educating individuals and communities about their human rights so that they demand respect and the basic services to which they are entitled. This approach also entails empowering governments to fulfill these rights.

It focuses on women and young people because they are the groups whose rights are often violated. Understanding local cultural complexities is essential to the success of the agency’s work.

United Nations Population Award

The United Nations Population Prize was created by the General Assembly in November 1981 through resolution 36/201 and was presented for the first time in 1983, it consists of a gold medal, a diploma and a cash award.

Annually the Award Committee awards the award to a person or institution in recognition of their outstanding contribution to raising awareness of population issues and their solution.


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