The 9th Country Programme (2013–2017)

Egypt was one of the first countries to sign an agreement with UNFPA to initiate population activities. The country office was established in 1972 and UNFPA has supported Egypt through eight 5-year country programmes ever since. The proposed programme is aligned with national development priorities, the United Nations Development Assistance Framework 2013-2017 and the UNFPA Strategic Plan. It builds on lessons learned from the evaluation of the previous programme. The Programme adopts a human rights based and participatory approaches. The programme will focus on joint programming with a number of United Nations organizations, including UN Women, UNICEF, WHO, UNDP, UNHCR, and UNV, to ensure synergies and complementarities, optimize utilization of resources, respond to humanitarian needs and address culturally sensitive issues. 

UNFPA will work on the following areas of the 2013-2017 UNDAF (United Nations Development Assistance Framework):

(a) Poverty alleviation through Pro-Poor Growth and Equity

(b) Quality Basic Services

(c) Governance through Decentralization, Civic Engagement and Human Rights.

The current country programme is the 9th country programme. It is based on the Common Country Assessment (CCA) and aligned with the United Nations Development Assistance Framework (UNDAF) outcomes. UNFPA’s 9th Cycle Country Program contributes to the following three UNDAF outcomes:

i) Women in reproductive age, men and young people have increased access to quality FP/RH services

ii) National institutions and the community service organizations (CSOs) are strengthened to further protect, respect and fulfil Human Rights in line with Egypt’s international commitments, with special focus on women, children, disabled, refugees, the aged and migrants

iii) The voice, leadership, civic engagement and political participation of women and young people are visible and effective in public spheres. 

The programme seeks to accelerate the achievement of universal access to reproductive health services through the reduction of inequities in accessing safe deliveries, and family planning services and to assist Egypt to meet the goals of MDG 5A around maternal health. Systems enhancement, advocacy and evidence based policy dialogue will be conducted at the central level, while capacity development and community-based interventions will focus on Assiut and Sohag.

Accordingly the country program has three outputs:

1. Access to sexual and reproductive health services for young people

Output 1: Strengthened national capacities for community-based interventions in reproductive health to empower women and young people. And this output will be achieved through:

(a) Integrating youth friendly reproductive health counselling and services in selected primary health care units to enable young people to make informed health choices

(b) Empowering young people through support to institutions as well as social media to raise their awareness about reproductive health and gender issues and to promote their civic engagement

(c) Building capacity of the youth peer education network to engage young people in decision-making and advocacy,

(d) Developing and implementing a behavior change communication strategy at the community level to induce demand for reproductive health services,

(e) Conducting targeted advocacy campaigns to increase utilization of HIV voluntary counseling and testing services in different venues. 

2. Maternal and newborn health

Output 2: Improved capacity of the national health system to provide quality maternal health services to women of reproductive age this output will be achieved through:

(a) Advocating and providing policy advice to enforce rules and regulations and strengthen the capacity of the Ministry of Health and Population in combating mal-practices by private obstetricians

(b) Building capacities of nurse-midwives in Assiut and Sohag to increase coverage of antenatal care and skilled deliveries through task-shifting

(c) Building capacity of specialized nurses in primary health care units to provide family planning and maternal health services

(d) Reviewing the family planning method mix and improving contraceptive choices based on the capacity of the service delivery system and clients needs

(e) Expanding the service delivery monitoring system by linking the different sources of health facility data at the district level;

(f) Strengthening partnerships to address gaps in procurement of contraceptives

(g) Supporting operational research and data collection and analysis to guide policy and decision making on provision of reproductive health services including for refugees.

3. Gender Equality and Reproductive Rights

Output 3: Enhanced institutional mechanisms to protect and respond to gender-based violence against women and girls.

This output will be achieved through:

(a) Generating evidence and analysing the effects of gender-based violence on women's and girls’ reproductive health, wellbeing and social and economic participation

b) Advocating for the adoption of a national gender-based violence strategy and the enactment of protection legislations

(c) Developing protocols and services referral frameworks and strengthening capacity of service providers on management of gender-based violence

(d) Building capacities of religious leaders to combat gender-based violence through raising the awareness of communities

(e) Combating medicalization of female genital mutilation/cutting by creating awareness among service providers and supporting community-led initiatives,

(f) Addressing sexual harassment through the support of community service organizations advocacy, building alliances and school interventions with engagement of men and boys.