Pathfinder International Applauds Launch of First-Ever USAID Youth in Development Policy
On November 1, 2012, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) released its first-ever policy on Youth in Development. Pathfinder International applauds USAID for taking this important step to advance the rights and opportunities for young people around the world.
Today’s generation of young people is the largest in history. Through the sheer size of their numbers and where they live—predominately in developing countries—young people represent both the present and future of development.
Pathfinder believes that young people are our greatest asset for sustained development.Pathfinder believes that young people are our greatest asset for sustained development, but in order to succeed young people must be, as the policy’s conceptual framework suggests, “supported, protected, prepared, and engaged.” That is why, for over 30 years and in more than 30 countries, Pathfinder has been committed to advancing the sexual and reproductive health and rights of young people; empowering young people, particularly young women, as leaders and advocates; and meaningfully engaging young people in the design, implementation, and evaluation of programs. Pathfinder led the first-ever global youth program from USAID, Focus on Young Adults, which is highlighted in the policy on Youth in Development.
Pathfinder applauds USAID’s Policy Task Team for the robust consultation process that led to the development of this policy. As co-chair of the Youth Health and Rights Coalition, Pathfinder valued the opportunity to provide input during the development of the policy over the last year and, most importantly, the opportunity to facilitate youth input into the policy. In October 2011, the Coalition hosted an online consultation between nearly 40 young people from Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia, the Middle East and North Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, and the United States and members of the Policy Task Team.
Pathfinder looks forward to continued collaboration with USAID to support the implementation of the policy on Youth in Development.
Focus Area: Adolescent and Youth Sexual and Reproductive Health
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What's more, women in Ethiopia are having fewer children (the fertility rate fell from an average of 6.5 children per woman in 2000 to 4.6 currently), maternal deaths are in decline, and more women are staying in school longer. Plus, more women are opting for long-acting reversible contraceptives (LARCs) instead of more traditional short-term methods like birth control pills or condoms.
Youths are deprived of information and services related to sexual or reproductive health. These issues are considered taboo due to social, cultural or religious norms in the developing and middle-income countries, speakers discussed on the third day of the International Conference on Family Planning, held at the Bali Nusa Dua Convention Centre in Indonesia.