Sexual and reproductive health, maternal and child health

Two Tanzanian women and an infant in a hospital.
The development of health services reduces the risk of complications during pregnancies and saves lives. © SDC

Sexual and reproductive health is a key factor for a person's social, economic and health-related development. Switzerland promotes sexual and reproductive health and rights for all, which includes empowering women, men and young people. It is committed in particular to improving the health of mothers, infants and young children.

The SDC's focus

Switzerland works through specific programmes and its active participation in international organisations to improve sexual and reproductive health, promote sexual and reproductive health rights, and support the health of mothers, infants and young children. For example, the SDC supports UNAIDS, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), and the sexual and reproductive health research programmes of several UN agencies and the World Bank. It is also represented in the executive councils of such decision-making bodies as UNAIDS and the UNFPA.

Sexual and reproductive health and rights

The SDC supports various projects in this area for young people aged between 10 and 24 years in southern Africa. The focus of the SDC's work in this area is the promotion of safer schools and youth-friendly health services and social protection. Thanks to the SDC's awareness-raising programme, around 500,000 young people in southern Africa got tested for HIV and more than two million visited one of the youth-friendly services.

Context

In spite of progress in the field of sexual and reproductive health and rights, there is still much to be done – comprehensive and age-appropriate sex education in and outside of school, access to contraception, diagnosis and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)( including HIV/AIDS, preventing improperly performed abortions and reducing sexual and gender-based violence.

Although child and maternal mortality has decreased significantly worldwide, around 830 women continue to die every day because of factors related to mother and child health. But many challenges remain[SCHAL1]  in this area therefore, particularly in low income countries. Sexual and reproductive health is a key factor for a person's social, economic and health-related development. In this context, the 1994 UN International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo continues to serve as a milestone.

The action plan that was debated and signed at the conference led to a paradigm shift away from traditional population policies with demographic goals to empowering people – particularly women – about their sexual and reproductive health. The action plan was signed by 179 countries including Switzerland. Even though the document was updated in 2014, the main elements of the action plan continue to be applicable.

The Cairo action plan covers a variety of areas ranging from gender equality to education and health. It underlines the importance of addressing sexual and reproductive health comprehensively in order to be successful. The action plan was a key element in the definition of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Current projects

Object 37 – 48 of 1073

Forging a common «Nile culture» through music and academic training

Nile Project musicians on a boat.

01.05.2015 - 30.11.2020

To make the Nile Basin a common ground and shared ecosystem for the inhabitants of the eleven countries through which the Nile River flows, the SDC supports the innovative musical and educational Nile Project. The project brings together artists, students and concerned citizens. A series of acclaimed concerts has taken place since 2013; at the same time, students are developing initiatives to foster a better use of water resources.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Egypt
Culture / development awareness
Employment & economic development
Education
Climate change and environment
Gender
Governance
Migration
Other
Vocational training
Human rights
Rule of Law - Democracy - Human rights
Culture & recreation
SME development
Education policy
Disaster risk reduction DRR
Women’s equality organisations and institutions
Democratic participation and civil society
Information and communication technology (ICT)
Migration generally (development aspects and partnerships)
Sector not specified
Development awareness
Business support & economic inclusion
Environmental policy
Public sector policy
Vocational training
Biosphere protection
Legal and judicial development
Human rights (incl. Women's rights)

01.05.2015 - 30.11.2020


CHF 750'000



Strengthening Voice and Accountability in Kyrgyzstan

Five young girls in yellow costumes at the opening ceremony of the new kindergarten

01.04.2015 - 31.08.2020

Decentralisation is one of the priorities of the Kyrgyz government in power since 2012. In line with this, the main goal of this project is to strengthen the ability of citizens to participate in the budget process in their municipality, and to ensure that local governments use their funds adequately for public services.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Kyrgyzstan
Governance
Conflict & fragility
Decentralisation
Public finance management
Conflict prevention

01.04.2015 - 31.08.2020


CHF 5'740'000



Bangladesh: courses to raise job prospects for the poor in the textiles and building sectors

Three sewing machine operators in a textile factory receiving on-the-job training from three other people.

01.04.2015 - 31.03.2021

The textiles and construction sectors in Bangladesh are recording high rates of growth, but many poor women and men lack the necessary qualifications for skilled jobs. By 2019, a project jointly financed by Switzerland and the United Kingdom aims to give 110,000 of them better prospects through on-the-job training. The results so far are promising.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Bangladesh
Employment & economic development
Vocational training
Employment creation
Vocational training
Tradepolicy & market system

01.04.2015 - 31.03.2021


CHF 5'825'000



Life without violence, from dream to reality

The face of a woman who has been abused.

01.02.2015 - 31.07.2020

The SDC hopes that by backing a newly-adopted law in Bolivia on ending violence against women, it can contribute to more systematic and targeted care for female victims. Local and national authorities and the people are working together on a comprehensive approach to prevent assaults on women. Too often, attitudes are tinged with a male chauvinism that sanctions violence.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Bolivia
Human rights
Rule of Law - Democracy - Human rights
Human rights (incl. Women's rights)

01.02.2015 - 31.07.2020


CHF 4'171'000



Healthy people and animals in Ethiopia thanks to an interdisciplinary project: Jigjiga University One Health Initiative

African farmer ploughing a field with an ox.

01.01.2015 - 31.12.2020

Nomadic pastoralist communities, which constitute one tenth of Ethiopia’s population, have little access to health services. In the Jigjiga University One Health Initiative, the SDC is helping to establish local healthcare services by supporting an interdisciplinary centre of excellence at Jigjiga University in eastern Ethiopia.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Ethiopia
Health

Health systems strengthening
Primary health care

01.01.2015 - 31.12.2020


CHF 2'200'000



Livestock Development in the South of Armenia

Armenian Farmer with his calf

01.09.2014 - 31.08.2020

In the provinces of Syunik and Vayots Dzor in southern Armenia, the agricultural sector mostly comprises subsistence farming where farmers are barely able to support their households. This project aims to help farmers increase their milk and meat production, and thus their incomes, by supporting local veterinary services (to improve animal health), facilitating access to milk and meat markets, and promoting the sharing of know-how among farmers.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Armenia
Agriculture & food security
Employment & economic development
Agriculture value-chain development (til 2016)
SME development
Agricultural development

01.09.2014 - 31.08.2020


CHF 10'000'000



Blue Peace Central Asia Strengthening of the Regional Institutional Framework for Integrated Water Resources Management in Central Asia

01.09.2014 - 31.07.2022

In response to the explicit demand of the five Central Asian States, and building on over 20 years of cooperation in the field of water, SDC facilitates transboundary water resources cooperation consistent with the Blue Peace approach implemented in the Middle-East and at the global level through the establishment of a High Level Dialogue Platform, the promotion of sustainable water practices as well as capacity building of a new generation of water professionals and champions.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Central Asia
Water
Climate change and environment
Water diplomacy and security
Meteorological services
Water resources conservation
Water sector policy

01.09.2014 - 31.07.2022


CHF 6'000'000



IDA: International Development Association – Core Contribution 2014-2017

01.07.2014 - 31.12.2023

The World Bank Group’s (WBG) mandate is to support countries in reducing poverty by creating opportunities for economic growth, strengthening governance, managing risks and empowering the poor and vulnerable. The International Development Association (IDA) is the part of the World Bank Group that helps the world’s poorest countries.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Global
Other
Sector not specified

01.07.2014 - 31.12.2023


CHF 752'750'000



The members of municipal councils working for democracy

Women and men assembled in a community hall.

01.07.2014 - 31.12.2021

With the ‘Empowering Municipal Councils’ project, Switzerland’s international cooperation is helping municipal councils in North Macedonia to become effective local authorities whose community policies take into account the interests of ordinary citizens.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Macedonia
Governance
Decentralisation

01.07.2014 - 31.12.2021


CHF 4'000'000



New approach in Bosnia and Herzegovina for democratisation

A man standing in front of a blue gate valve connected to a large blue pipe.

01.07.2014 - 31.12.2020

Bosnia and Herzegovina’s water and sanitation infrastructure is outdated and a large segment of the population has no access to a water supply. The starting point for the SDC’s project is good governance – the authorities must be transparent about building and renovation decisions, and ensure an inclusive political process for the citizens their decisions affect.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Governance

Public sector policy
Decentralisation
Democratic participation and civil society

01.07.2014 - 31.12.2020


CHF 12'000'000



AfDB/AfDF: African Development Bank / African Development Fund – Core Contribution

01.05.2014 - 31.12.2023

The mandate of the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the African Development Fund (AfDF) is to promote sustainable economic and social development in Africa by providing support for good governance and private sector development, infrastructure, higher education and vocational training. Switzerland has been supporting the AfDF since its foundation in 1972 and has been a member since 1982.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Africa
Other
Sector not specified

01.05.2014 - 31.12.2023


CHF 207'759'519



Programme for Supporting Decentralised Management of Literacy in Benin (PAGEDA)

An adult literacy centre in a Fulani camp in the village of Goure Bene, municipality of Nikki, Borgou, 2014

01.01.2014 - 30.09.2020

The programme for supporting the decentralised management of literacy services in Benin (PAGEDA) aims to provide high-quality literacy programmes that will enable 30,000 people (50-50 gender split, with most aged 15-30), who are excluded from or have no access to the formal education system, to acquire life skills and fully exercise their rights. The programme also aims to address gender, age and regional disparities in relation to access to education.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Benin
Education
Vocational training
Employment & economic development
Basic life skills
Education facilities and training
Vocational training
Employment creation

01.01.2014 - 30.09.2020


CHF 6'320'000


Object 37 – 48 of 1073