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Everyone has the right to enjoy sexual and reproductive health (SRH) as a basis for having healthy children, intimate relationships and happy families. SRH sits at the heart of UNFPA’s global vision – a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe, and every young person’s potential is fulfilled.

China has made remarkable progress in reducing preventable maternal deaths and improving women’s SRH. The national maternal mortality ratio has decreased from 89 per 100,000 live births in 1990 to 16.9 per 100,000 live births in 2020. However, disparities and inequalities in access to quality SRH services continue to exist. 

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have extended the focus from maternal and child survival to improvement of health across the lifespan. This focus is integrated into the vision of both the SDGs and the Healthy China 2030 agenda. The years 2021–30 are crucial in ensuring that China is able to meet the SDGs, especially the target of universal access to sexual and reproductive health-care services, including for family planning, information and education, which is embodied by access, quality, and equity.

In the ninth Country Programme between the Government of China and UNFPA (2021-2025), UNFPA contributes to strengthening the capacity of the Government of China to ensuring everyone has access to SRH, free of coercion, discrimination and violence. 

Strengthening the policy environment and national capacity for universal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights

UNFPA provides technical assistance to rights-based quality SRH programmes that meet the needs of vulnerable women and young people, especially those with disabilities, ethnic minorities and migrants. In collaboration with the UN and national partners on health, UNFPA supports policy dialogues and national capacity building to strengthen essential SRH services packages for universal health coverage, including during emergencies. UNFPA works with partners to advocate on the role of midwives and support the professional development of midwifery to enhance the quality of SRH services, especially in underserved areas.

In the context of the “three-child” policy in China, UNFPA advocates for rights-based, people-centered and evidence-based approaches in the national responses to low fertility and population ageing, for the fulfillment of the basic right of all couples and individuals in China to decide freely and responsibly the number, spacing and timing of their children. It is a principle agreed on by all countries in the Programme of Action adopted at the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in Cairo in 1994. UNFPA also supports the Government of China to further strengthen and improve public services of reproductive health care and maternal and child health care, including midwifery services.

Building partnerships for the achievement of the ICPD Programme of Action and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development

UNFPA facilitates global and South-South cooperation between China and other developing countries to support maternal mortality reduction and reproductive health commodity security. UNFPA supports knowledge transfer and experience sharing between China and other developing countries for the implementation of the 1994 ICPD Programme of Action and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.