Uganda’s population has grown from 9.5million in 1969 to 34.9 million in 2014 and is expected to reach 83 million by 2040.  The high growth rate of 3.0 per cent per annum is a result of persistently high fertility rate currently at 6.2 and declining mortality rate. Under five mortality rate decreased from 137/1000 live births in 2006 to 90 in 2011. This has resulted into a youthful population with 52 per cent aged less than 15 years, 70 per cent 24 and below. The proportion of people living below the national poverty line has reduced from 39 per cent in 2002 to 19.7 per cent in 2011.

In this context, UNFPA works to deliver a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every child birth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled.

Guided by the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) Plan of Action, UNFPA Uganda has a long and successful track record of working with the government of Uganda, cultural and religious institutions, civil society organizations including youth organizations, and the private sector to improve the lives of women and young people.

UNFPA Uganda is now running the GoU/UNFPA 8th Country Programme (2016-2020). The Country Programme is aligned with national priorities, as outlined in National Vision 2040, National Development Plan II (2015/2016-2019/2020), the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (2016-2020) and the UNFPA Strategic Plan 2014-2017, and contributes to harnessing the demographic dividend. UNFPA is the lead agency that supports Government of Uganda to collect census and survey population data to inform and influence policy on sexual reproductive health, gender-based violence and HIV.

Ensuring that every pregnancy is wanted

UNFPA supports Government of Uganda to eliminate bottlenecks to contraceptive use. Modern contraceptive prevalence rate in Uganda remains low, at 26 percent, with wide regional disparities (7 per cent in Karamoja region, 40 per cent in Kampala). Among married young women (15-24 years), it is only 11 per cent. Unmet need for family planning remains high at 34 per cent and 31 percent among those aged 15-19 years. UNFPA supports Government of Uganda to address human resource gap so that there is an adequate number of skilled staff to provide a wide range of family planning methods; to address stock-outs at health facilities; to expand of community-based service outlets; as well as support to demand generation for family planning services through information programmes to dispel myths and misconceptions about contraceptive use.

Ensuring that every child birth is safe

The maternal mortality ratio decreased from 506/100,000 live births in 1995 to 435 in 2006 and stagnated at 438 in 2011. Up to 28 per cent of maternal deaths are attributed to young girls aged 15 to 24. Skilled birth attendance increased from 42 per cent in 2006 to 58 per cent in 2011. About 1,900 new cases of obstetric fistula occur annually resulting into a backlog of 200,000 cases. HIV prevalence increased from 6.4 per cent in 2005 to 7.3 per cent in 2011 and is higher among women, sex workers and in the central, western and mid-northern regions. Over 130,000 new infections occur annually. UNFPA supports the Government of Uganda to ensure provision of quality maternal health services in an equitable matter through specific programmes focusing on high burdened regions in the country.

Every young person’s potential is fulfilled

Young people continue to suffer sexual reproductive ill-health including sexually transmitted infections among those who are sexually active. Teenage pregnancy rate, although still high, declined from 31 per cent in 2001 to 24 per cent in 2011. Teenage pregnancy contributes to 28 percent of maternal death in Uganda. Although HIV prevalence among young people aged 15-24 years is 3.7 per cent, it is 9.1 per cent among females aged 20-24 years. Key drivers of HIV among the young people include risky sexual behavior, low comprehensive knowledge on HIV (38 per cent), low individual risk perception and low access to services by most at risk populations. Sexual violence, early marriage and female genital mutilation impact on young people’s ability to enjoy their human rights and explore their full potential. UNFPA advocates for the rights of young people, and works to influence policy to ensure young people’s access to accurate information and services related to sexuality and reproductive health.