Charting a blueprint for engagement with the Caribbean over the next five years

24 June 2021
UNFPA Vision 2030 Goals - End unmet need for family planning, End preventable maternal deaths, End gender-based violence and harmful practices
UNFPA Vision 2030 Goals - End unmet need for family planning, End preventable maternal deaths, End gender-based violence and harmful practices

Collaborative. Engaging. Rigorous. Fulfilling. Worthwhile. Such is the process of developing the programme document for UNFPA’s Sub-Regional Office for the Caribbean (SROC) – UNFPA’s blueprint for engagement with Caribbean governments over the course of the next five years. The process is underway and it is exciting!

UNFPA’s sub-regional programme document (SRPD, for short) outlines UNFPA’s contribution to the regional and national priorities of countries in the region over a five-year period. While we continue to implement the 2017-2021 programme, we are preparing and looking forward to ushering in a new SRPD, one that builds on the work done and the results achieved during previous years, and ambitiously endeavours to do more.

As the UN’s sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) agency, UNFPA’s work is grounded in advocating for access to sexual and reproductive health services for all,
recognising the inextricable link between sexual and reproductive health and for regional and national sustainable development. Critical to these goals is ending preventable maternal deaths, ending the unmet need for family planning and ending gender-based violence and harmful practices. UNFPA remains a committed ally and partner in pursuit of these three transformative results across the Caribbean.

To that end, UNFPA’s SROC has had an independent evaluation of our present programme conducted, to inform our approach going forward. We have also been meeting with
stakeholders across the region – from government entities and implementing partners, to organisations of all types, whether civil society, non-governmental or grassroots, including young people. Our interest lies in learning about national experiences and challenges, gaps and shortfalls, in order to better orient our programme towards supporting the realisation of national and regional sexual and reproductive health and development priorities. 

It is as a result of this informed process that we will seek to tailor our programme towards an enabling environment for sexual and reproductive health and rights, including legislative reforms and policy development and addressing gender and social norms; sexual and reproductive health services and prevention and response to gender-based violence; and data appreciation.

We will place strong focus on programmes designed to prevent adolescent pregnancy in the Caribbean, as well as support making strides in the following areas:

  1. Integration of sexual and reproductive health and rights into universal health coverage and development of policies and strategies;
  2. The provision of high-quality, comprehensive sexual and reproductive health information and services, and essential services to address gender-based violence including in humanitarian contexts;
  3. Strengthening mechanisms and capacities to address discriminatory gender and social norms that undermine the ability of individuals to exercise their sexual and reproductive rights, and perpetuate gender-based violence;

Empowering young people, and adolescent girls in particular, to make informed choices about their sexual and reproductive health and rights, leadership and participation.
Strengthening national data systems to account for population changes in policies and programmes and to drive inclusive and human rights-based sustainable development, resilience building and humanitarian action.
Is it an ambitious undertaking? Absolutely! But we are up to the task!

The first iteration of the new SRPD is undergoing further development and refinement. The SRPD will be endorsed by governments and will traverse other quality assurance mechanisms, including the UNFPA Executive Board, before being approved.