28 Nov 2018 - OneHealth Tool Training for Economists and Public Health Scientists and Validation

  • Published in Health

UNFPA is committed to the government of the I. R. Iran to support the development and implementation of comprehensive strategies policies on the provision of integrated, high impact, accessible affordable and high quality Reproductive and Maternal Health (RMH) and HIV services, for the entire population. In the line of this collaborative commitment, the mandate and expertise in UNFPA, it disposes to support the Ministry of Health and Medical Education (MOHME) to implement the costing of an integrated reproductive and maternal health service packages for the entire Iranian population.

In line with the above programme, UNFPA has supported the project debut workshop from 22nd to 28th June 2018 to start the process of prioritizing the essential packages for delivery maternal health in I. R. Iran.

In line with the workshop’s objectives and the emphasize raised by the MOHME about the importance of the maternal health costing exercise and the need for technical support it was decided to conduct a  training workshop in the near future to build country capacity for costing health programs using the UN supported OneHealth tool.

Today, the training workshop on “OneHealth Tool Training for Economists and Public Health Scientists and Validation” started at the Industrial Management Institute and will continue up to 3rd December. The main objective of the training workshop is to build capacity of professionals in the health and budgeting and finance environment in the Islamic Republic of Iran, on the application of One Health tool. Such professionals include: health economists, public health scientists and practitioners, Budget and finance specialists in the MoHME and Ministry of Finance, and academics.

The training provides an opportunity to exhibit the data and information in the ongoing projections for optimizing and upscaling maternal health interventions in the Islamic Republic of Iran. It is expected that this will provide reviews and validation of available national by a wider audience of national experts.

This workshop provides significant capacity in the country to replicate this type of estimations for other health areas; interpret the results of similar such analysis to assist programming, budget and finance function, resource mobilization and policy level dialogue.

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25 Nov 2018 - Joint UN Statement on International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

  • Published in Other

Statement by the Heads of UN agencies, UNFPA, UNDP, UNICEF and UN WOMEN, calling for solidarity with survivors and survivor advocates and women’s human rights defenders who are working to prevent and end violence against women and girls.

To commemorate this year’s International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, the Secretary-General’s UNiTE Campaign is calling upon us to stand in solidarity with survivors and survivor advocates and women’s human rights defenders who are working to prevent and end violence against women and girls. Our duty is not only to stand in solidarity with them but also to intensify our efforts to find solutions and measures to stop this preventable global scourge with a detrimental impact on women’s and girls’ lives and health.

The last year has been extraordinary in terms of the awareness that has been raised on the extent and magnitude of the different forms of violence inflicted on women and girls. The #MeToo campaign—one of the most viral and powerful social movements of recent times—has brought this issue into the spotlight. This awareness has been further reinforced by the awarding of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2018 to two remarkable activists, Nadia Murad and Denis Mukwege, who work on ending violence against women in conflict situations.

More than a third of women worldwide have experienced either physical or sexual violence at some point in their lives. Furthermore, research indicates that the cost of violence against women could amount annually to around 2 per cent of global gross domestic product (GDP). This is equivalent to 1.5 trillion dollars[1].

Beyond raising awareness, governments, the private sector, the artistic community, civil society organizations, academia and engaged citizens are again looking into new ways to urgently address this global scourge.

For more than 20 years, the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women has been investing in national and local initiatives that translate policy promises into concrete benefits for women and girls, and contribute to the prevention of violence in the long run.

As part of the Spotlight Initiative to end violence against women and girls, a global, multi-year partnership between the United Nations and the European Union, we are working with different partners to increase the scale and level of ambition of our interventions. We understand that reducing and preventing violence against women is transformational: it improves the heath of women and children, reduces risks of acquiring HIV and sexually transmitted infections (STIs), improves economic productivity and educational attainment, and reduces the risks of mental illness and substance abuse, among other benefits.

Through the Spotlight Initiative, our agencies are mobilizing an array of stakeholders to address both the root causes of violence as well as its most immediate consequences. In line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, the initiative fully integrates the principle of leaving no one behind. Spotlight will also build on existing good practices and evidence-based programming, as well as incorporate new solutions for accelerated results.

The UN family is working tirelessly with our partners to strengthen legal frameworks and institutions, to improve services for survivors, and to address the root causes of violence by challenging social norms and behaviours and tackling the wider gender inequalities.

Ending violence against women and girls is not a short-term endeavor. It requires coordinated and sustained efforts from all of us. Showing that these efforts yield results is the best tribute to survivors and the survivor advocates and women’s human rights defenders that we are celebrating today.

 

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23 October 2018 - Opening Ceremony of HelpAge Asia-Pacific Regional Conference

  • Published in Other

The Conference on “Family, Community and State in Ageing Societies” started by the speech of Dr. Mohseni Bandpay, Acting Minister of Cooperatives, Labor and Social Welfare. 

He shared a brief background about the country’s programmes for aged persons and stated that the country is committed for planning policies and programmes for its elderly population.  He mentioned that during the past two decades the government of I.R. Iran is integrating the prorgammes for the elderly to its national development plan.

Mr. Ghazizadeh Hashemi, the Minister of Health and Medical Education shared with the participants the health programmes of the Ministry for elderly.

The conference will continue according to the agenda by the speech of H.E. Mr. Eshaq Jahangiri, First Vice President.

More will be available in the UNFPA Iran website.

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23 October 2018 - Addressing Population Ageing in Asia-Pacific: The Role of Family, Community and the State

  • Published in Health

Chiang Mai, Thailand / Tehran, Iran, 23 October 2018 - With population ageing already a reality for many countries across Asia and the Pacific, and on the not too distant horizon for many others, Governments, United Nations partners and civil society stakeholders are meeting to discuss the issue from a variety of angles at the HelpAge Asia-Pacific Regional Conference 2018 from 23-25 October in Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran.

“This year, our biennial conference carries the theme ‘Family, Community and the State in an Ageing Society’,” said Eduardo Klien, Director of the HelpAge Asia-Pacific Regional Office based in Chiang Mai, Thailand. “This recognises that addressing the complexities of population ageing requires a multi-dimensional approach, involving not only governments but all of society, if we are to successfully - and urgently - tackle the challenges and maximize the opportunities of these rapid demographic changes.”

Asia and the Pacific is currently home to over half the world’s people over 60 years of age. Globally, the number of older persons, rising at an unprecedented rate, is forecast to exceed 2 billion by 2050. By then, nearly two-thirds of the world’s older people – close to 1.3 billion – will be living in Asia-Pacific, and one in four people across the region is expected to be over 60. In North-east and East Asia, this proportion will be more than one in three people. Women currently constitute some 54% of the older demographic in Asia-Pacific, but represent an even greater majority, 61%, of the ‘oldest old’ population (80 years and older).

“Throughout history, responsibility for older persons has traditionally assumed to lie with the family, but as family structures change this assumption is changing as well,” explained Bjorn Andersson, Director of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Asia-Pacific Regional Office in Bangkok, which is supporting the conference. “Many governments and societies have begun redefining what ageing truly means, exploring ways in which older people can better relate to their families, communities and the state via policies that seek to achieve an optimal socioeconomic equilibrium. This means enabling older persons to continue to contribute to society for as long as they are willing and able, along with providing necessary support systems and safety nets.” 

The HelpAge Asia-Pacific Regional Conference will flesh out its theme from three main perspectives, including income security in old age, long term care and social inclusion.   

“For Iran, as the host country, the conference and its theme are particularly timely,” said Dr Leila Joudane, UNFPA Representative in the Islamic Republic of Iran. “Although more than 80 percent of older Iranian people are still living with their family members, the number of older persons who are living without a spouse or any family member has increased during recent decades. According to the latest government data, nearly 50 percent of older women are living in households without a spouse, the majority of them heads of households and among the lowest income categories. The gender dimensions of ageing are significant, not only in Iran but across the Asia-Pacific region.”

The conference will bring together around 300 participants from more than 20 countries across Asia-Pacific and from Iran, including experts, representatives of civil society and international organisations, government officials and other representatives, policymakers, and, perhaps most importantly, older people themselves.

“At the core of the conference are older persons - whom we know in our own lives as our grandparents, parents and society elders,” concluded Eduardo Klien. 

“They need to be independent, active persons, not objects of decisions made by others, but active participants in any strategies, policies or solutions proposed that would impact their lives as well as those of future generations.”

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16/10/2018 - Connect's interview with Leila Joudane, UNFPA Representative in I.R. Iran

Please tell us about the current situation of older people and population ageing in Iran. How have the demographic configuration and family dynamics changed over the past 10 years?

Iran is among the countries where fertility has declined sharply, in our case from about 7 children per woman in the 1980s to 2.01 in 2016. Given this fertility decline, and the large post-revolution baby-boom generation, and despite its current young-age structure, Iran will experience rapid population ageing in the next three decades.

It’s predicted that the number and proportion of older persons (60 years and over) will increase sharply from 7.4 million (9.3 per cent of the current total population) in 2016 to nearly 30 million in 2050, constituting one third of Iran’s population. Older women will outnumber older men significantly.

Although the majority of older Iranian people are living with their family members (81 per cent as per the 2011 census), the number of older persons who are living without a spouse or any family member has increased during recent decades. According to the latest report by the Statistical Center of Iran, nearly 50 per cent of older women are living in households without a spouse, and the majority of them are the heads of households and among the three lowest income deciles.

The average household size is also getting smaller in Iran (from 5.2 persons in 1990 to 3.3 in 2016). Nuclear families with fewer members are on the rise, and obviously there will be fewer family members to support older people in the future. This will be a major challenge, particularly in a country like Iran where families are still the main source of support for older persons.

There is a significant gender gap in the literacy rate among older people in Iran. Only 24 per cent of older women and 48 per cent of older men are literate. By contrast, the literacy rate of the current young and middle-aged population is very high; therefore in the future the elderly population of the country will be com-prised of people with a higher level of literacy and education, and with less of a gender gap. This would create opportuni-ties for older persons, particularly older women, to be more active in society, since higher education is closely related to higher income, lower social vulnerability and greater social engagement.

What challenges does the country face as the population is ageing – at the household level up to the national level?

Population ageing is a consequence of development, a mark of success. People now live longer and have the chance to contribute to their societies more than ever in history. This is an exciting situation with various opportunities, but we should not forget that serious challenges will appear if there is no adaptation to this population transition. This adapta-tion should take the form of reform in social policies, which cannot be achieved without accurate data and knowledge about the status of older persons and the implications of population ageing. The lack of laws and legislation to protect older persons is another challenge–not just in Iran but in the vast majority of countries that have begun to experience this demographic shift.
Among other challenges, income security, participation and social inclusion as well as the health and care of older persons, especially women, who are usually left behind, are issues that need immediate action.

How can stakeholders in Iran respond to the implications of ageing? What mechanisms could be used to protect older persons?

The government of Iran has taken positive steps so far to respond to population ageing. The National Council of Older People has been established, for example, which provides institutional infrastructure for coordination, advocacy and policy dialogue in this area.

However, to more effectively address the needs of older persons, especially older women, significant reform in socio-economic and health policies is required, placing an emphasis on this population group. Promoting effective inter-sectoral collaboration, proposing protective laws and legislation as well as advocating effectively for active and healthy ageing are all actions that would ensure that older persons, especially women, will be protected, and will not be left behind. Such laws and legislation should also protect older women against any type of harm and violence.
Pension funds and social security organisations should be ready to serve the growing number of older persons, and they need to provide adequate financial and human resources. In the absence of universal pension coverage for older persons in Iran, and low pension coverage in general (near 40 per cent based on unofficial sources), the poverty rate could increase, which would put older persons in a fragile situation.

Ultimately, a life-cycle approach and investment in the current youth and working-age population is absolutely necessary to ensure truly effective responses to the implications of population ageing. This will help both in the near future and the long-term in mitigating risks and responding to the needs of older persons.

UNFPA and the Government of Iran will co-host the upcoming HelpAge Asia-Pacific Regional Conference. How do you feel about it and what is your expectation for this conference?

This is the first international conference on the topic of population ageing in Iran, and I am confident that it will bring great exposure for the country and its proactive approach to population ageing issues. There will be plenty of opportunities for Iranian experts and policy-makers to share their knowledge and experiences, while benefiting from presentations by high-level, international academics and specialists.
The event has received considerable attention from various countries throughout the Asia-Pacific region. We expect more than 120 international participants, including high-level officials, academics, experts, representatives of NGOs and the private sector. This shows the commitment of the international community to the issue of population ageing. More importantly, the conference can pave the way for UNFPA and the government to strengthen our existing partnership, and to mobilize resources to better respond to the implications of population ageing.
I am confident that the conference will provide a fertile ground for more comprehensive, national and multi-sectoral policies in which the comprehensive needs and rights of older persons are met, and also pave the way to introduce laws to protect older persons, especially older women, against any type of violence or other harms.

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10 October 2018 - One-day training on “Age-Friendly City, Participation and Social Protection” by UNFPA

  • Published in Other

Today, one-day training on “Age-Friendly City, Participation and Social Protection” is conducting by the Elderly Council of the Province of Isfahan affiliated to the State Welfare Organization.

Dr. Leila Joudane, UNFPA Representative and Dr. Kambiz Kabiri, National Programme Analyst  were invited by Dr. Marzieh Farshad, Director General of Welfare Organization and Secretary of the Elderly Council to share their technical experiences with the city managers and members of the Elderly Council. 

Within the frame work of the 6th Country programme (CP), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in the I.R. of Iran and in response to the rapid transition in the age structure of Iran’s population, the issue of elderly is among subjects of the UNFPA programme activities.

In this CP, UNFPA will provide support to population and development stakeholders to increase the availability of population data and analysis to inform strategies and action plans on the implications and benefits of the demographic dividend.

Due to the fertility decline and increased longevity, it is expected that Iran will face rapid population ageing in the coming decades.  The government stakeholders including Ministry of Cooperative, Labour and Social Welfare, State Welfare Organization, Statistical Center of Iran, Ministry of Health and Medical Education and Tehran University are working closely with UNFPA to address the issue of ageing within the framework of the 6th National Development Plan of the Country.

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