From the Executive Summary:

The case for investing in young people now is more than clear. Almost 1.5 billion people in the world today are between 10 and 25 years old. More than half of all youth–about 525 million people–survive on less than $2 a day. More than 100 million adolescents do not attend school. Fifteen million adolescent girls become mothers every year. Among mothers under age 20, infant mortality rates average 100 deaths per 1,000 live births; among mothers aged 20-29 and 30-39, the rate is 72-74 deaths per 1,000 live births. Six thousand young people are infected with HIV everyday; most of them are girls in Sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. Ratios of new female-to-male infections among young people between ages 15-24 run as high as 8:1 in South Africa. These are not just numbers. These are the realities of young people at the crossroads. The gap between the MDG targets and the current state of affairs for young people leaves no time for questions. It is time for action.

The Framework for Action on Adolescents and Youth has been developed as a response to several needs. First, UNFPA’s work on young people must contribute to the comprehensive, not piecemeal, development of adolescents and youth. We know that sexual and reproductive health is not the only issue that concerns young people. Issues that matter also include education, livelihoods, and citizenship. The Fund therefore needs to position its Adolescent Sexual and Reproductive Health (ASRH) niche within the broader framework of the holistic development of young people. Second, at a time when the global community is increasingly focusing on poverty reduction and UN Reform is calling upon all UN agencies to work together in support of broader national development goals, a Framework for Action is needed to guide the Fund’s support in the area of adolescents and youth. Third, because of the changing development aid environment, a framework that articulates the organization’s corporate position is necessary. Such a framework allows regional and country offices to speak a common language based on a common frame of reference and still maintain room for flexibility and adaptation at the country level.


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