2021 was a challenging year for women, girls and young people in Asia and the Pacific. As the most disaster-prone region in the world, the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic intensified pre-existing sexual and reproductive health inequities and jeopardised the trajectory of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) commitments and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on multiple fronts.
With disrupted health systems, people who are most vulnerable—including women and girls, conflict-affected people, people with disabilities, young people, key populations, and those living in poverty— experienced unique difficulties in accessing quality sexual and reproductive health services and rights.
Despite these challenges and difficult working conditions, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) across Asia and the Pacific, rose to the challenge by making significant progress towards our transformative results of zero maternal deaths, zero unmet need for family planning, and zero gender-based violence and harmful practices against girls and women. They continued to build resilient health systems, and lobby governments to keep their commitments to uphold universal sexual and reproductive health and rights by investing more in long-term social norm change to prevent gender-based violence and in ensuring gender inclusive population policies that are embedded in human rights.