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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Dr. Tauseef Ahmed, Pakistan country director of Pathfinder International, a non-profit organisation working to improve adolescent and youth access to sexual and reproductive health services in more than 30 countries, says that early pregnancy is not uncommon among teenage brides. In fact, having a baby is a way of proving one’s fertility, and the values of adolescent pregnancy are “protected by women and girls themselves,” he told IPS.
On June 16, with funding from the Ford Foundation, Pathfinder International in Egypt, in conjunction with the National Population Council, launched a new national strategy for preventing child marriage.