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 85 – 96 of 1073

Economic Policy for Inclusive Growth

01.10.2020 - 31.12.2029

The planned intervention aims at supporting inclusive growth that improves the living standards for the Mozambicans, in particular women and youth. It will be pursued through increased analytical capacity and better informed policy making, by means of focussed support to economic analysis and discussion in and between government and non-government institutions. Emphasis on non-government institutions will enhance the demand for and accountability for effective policy making for inclusive growth


Resilience for Pastoralist Communities in Northern Kenya

01.09.2020 - 31.07.2025

Pastoralism is a millennia old livelihood strategy adapted to the marginal and harsh environ-ments of Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASAL). In order to support pastoralists, this programme contributes to strengthening public and private institutions in the water and livestock sectors, putting policy frameworks in place to ensure efficient county-wide and cross-border water and rangeland management systems, and to increase access to water and pasture.


Innovations for efficient quality health systems

01.09.2020 - 31.12.2026

Despite enormous progress in access to healthcare in low and middle-income countries, nearly 9 million people still die every year in these countries because of poor quality of care. SDC supports the establishment of a global design lab for the development of innovative tools to enhance quality measurements that form the base for cost-effective investments into quality improvements. The lab will benefit from Swiss research knowhow.


Local Economic Development (LED) Project

01.08.2020 - 30.09.2029

Small and medium entrepreneurs, their employees, and citizens will benefit from inclusive economic growth and equitable employment generation. Public and private sector actors will engage in joint local economic strategizing, planning and implementation. The improved framework conditions for inclusive business will result in more jobs, economic empowerment and ultimately increased sustainable income and well-being; particularly of the poor and disadvantaged.



The "Bosnia i Herzegovina"-Platform

01.07.2020 - 31.12.2025

The Bosnia i Herzegovina Platform (BiH) is an initiative of diaspora associations that are already involved in development activities. The platform will enhance cooperation and strengthen the diaspora associations’ role as development actors. SDC aims at promoting the potential of migrants for sustainable development mainly through improved framework conditions. The permanent platform as an effective and dynamic network will set the grounds for competent coordination services to diaspora organizations, to the country of destination and to the country of origin.


Horn of Africa: One Health Units for Humans, Environment, Animals and Livelihoods

01.07.2020 - 30.06.2032

The project aims at improving the well-being of targeted pastoral communities challenged with inadequate access to basic health/veterinary services and environmental conditions in Somalia, Ethiopia and Northern Kenya through integrated health service delivery for both pastoralists and their livestock. The project will contribute to stability and vulnerability’s reduction of citizens in the region, thereby reducing their displacement/migration which is in the interest of Switzerland and the international community.


Global co-operative movement for health

01.06.2020 - 31.12.2026

Many low- and middle-income countries strive to extend access to essential health services to the entire population. The private co-operative movement has potential to complement government efforts by providing efficient low-cost services for rural populations and informal sector workers. Following the principle of subsidiarity, SDC help the movements’ efforts establish a global platform for capacity strengthening of co-operatives.


FAO Desert Locust Emergency Response in the Horn of Africa Region

20.02.2020 - 19.02.2021

To control the spread of the worst outbreak of desert locusts in decades in the Horn of Africa (Somalia, Ethiopia, Kenya) and safeguard livelihoods of thousands of affected vulnerable households, Switzerland intends to contribute to the regional desert locust crisis appeal by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. 


Regional coordination for Mine Action

05.02.2020 - 04.07.2020

SDC will support UNMAS to consolidate and expand the Mine Action Authority (The Office of the High Counsellor for Peace - Descontamina Colombia) capacity to coordinate with regional and local authorities in 13 prioritized mine-affected departments, ass well as with other public socio-economic development policies. This will ensure transition period to new local and regional governments and the inclusion of Mine Action public policy in the general planning of 13 prioritized departments, facilitating the improvement of efficiency and efficacy of Mine Action in the field. It will build on a project previously financed by the UN Multipartner Trust Fund for Sustaining Peace, within the implementation of the Peace Accord and the MIne Ban Treaty's obligation to have a mine-free country. 


Contribution to the VII Regional Platform on Disaster Risk Reduction in the Americas and the Caribbean

01.02.2020 - 31.07.2021

Financially support the Regional Platform on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) in Jamaica 2020 (RPDRR 20) co-convened by CDEMA and UNDRR with a non-earmarked contribution to the overall costs and thereby assist implementation of the Sendai Framework in the Americas. Accompany this contribution by providing assistance in the preparations relying on the experience from previous platforms and the GPDRR 19 and support the participation of key stakeholders in the Americas that exhibit their activities in collaboration with SDC.


Mercy Corps - Building Resilience in Conflict-Affected Communities (BRAC)

01.02.2020 - 31.01.2022

South Kordofan is one of the areas in Sudan were the armed conflict is temporarily halted, but not yet solved, and many communities are still suffering from its consequences. These communities are hosting significant numbers of IDPs and refugees from war torn South Sudan, who share the very limited available resources. The project aims at increasing the resilience of female and male members of vulnerable households to economic, social and climate related shocks through improved access to gender responsive basic services and increased agricultural production.

Object 85 – 96 of 1073