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Contraceptives prevent unintended pregnancies, reduce abortion rates, and death and disability related to complications during pregnancy and childbirth. Maternal deaths could be reduced by a quarter and child deaths would decrease by up to twenty percent if only women and adolescents had access to modern contraception in regions like the Pacific.

Papua New Guinea has a high unmet need for family planning. The Demographic and Health Survey 2016/18 shows that only one in three married women are using modern contraceptives.  Low contraceptive use not only contributes to teenage pregnancy rates but also the high HIV prevalence, increased rates of child and infant mortality, and lower female life expectancy. High rates of fertility tend to substantially limit women’s participation in education and a productive workforce – with a direct impact on a country’s economy and social development.      

“The solution to this is to avoid unplanned pregnancies in the first place. Young people must have access to sexual and reproductive health services. They must have access to accurate information to make decisions about their life and body.” Lucy Stevens, Programme Specialist (GBV/SRHR), UNFPA Papua New Guinea.

Papua New Guinea is at a critical stage of      economic and social development. Papua New Guinea has one of the highest numbers of youth and young people compared to the overall population in the world.  This presents a      window of opportunity to push forward the country’s development agenda if only youth are given the information and tools to make positive choices for themselves, community and nation.           

If 1 in 2 women use of a modern contraception is achieved by 2030, the results would be impressive:

  • Hundreds of thousands of mothers’ and children’s lives could be saved by 2030.
  • Fertility rates would decline to 2.7 children, per woman, by 2030 (2016 rates: 4.2 children per woman).
  • Female life expectancy rates would improve to almost 70 years.
  • GDP per capita would increase to US$4,280 per capita in 2030 from $2,450 in 2016.
  • Population changes will reduce the number of dependents and increase the numbers of adults, allowing Papua New Guinea to reap the benefits of the Demographic Dividend.
  • Papua New Guinea will be able to achieve its target of satisfying 75% of demand for family planning, with modern methods, by 2030 - as per SDG Goal 3.7.

Let’s work together to take action towards Zero Unmet need for Family Planning.


Ensuring rights and choices for all.

UNFPA – the United Nations Population Fund, works to improve access to reproductive health services. Our mission is to deliver a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled.


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