Fifteen per cent of the world's population lives with a disability, and nearly 200 million are between the ages of 10 and 24. Yet they are often invisible in government statistics. Girls and boys with disabilities are largely excluded from education and health services, discriminated against in their communities and trapped in a cycle of poverty and violence.
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In Nepal and throughout the developing world. According to UNFPA data, an estimated 50,000 to 100,000 new cases of obstetric fistula develop each year. As the leader of Campaign to End Fistula, UNFPA provides technical guidance, medical supplies, training and funds for fistula prevention, treatment and social reintegration programmes. UNFPA also strengthens reproductive health care and emergency obstetric services to prevent fistula from occurring.
Two years ago, 16-year-old Salia Shemsu waited to be married off. Like many young girls in Ethiopia, it was only a matter of time before she would need to leave her family for a husband. Then an opportunity she never expected arrived. A local announcement called for young people to join an entrepreneurship programme. Salia responded immediately. Salia’s district is among 30 in Ethiopia where a joint UNFPA-UNICEF programme is now empowering vulnerable adolescent girls and boys to support themselves and make healthy decisions – by providing them with the knowledge and skills to do so.
Fifty years ago, world leaders recognized family planning as a human right. Yet safe and reliable forms of contraception remain out of reach for hundreds of millions of people.