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The Philippines today has the largest generation of young people in its history. 30 million young people between the ages of 10-24 account for 28 percent of the Philippine population. Developing policies and investments for the future of young people could lead the Philippines to reap the benefits of a ‘demographic dividend’ – the economic growth potential that can result from households having fewer children and a larger number of young people who now have better health, better education and decent jobs who can save and invest for their own future.

Yet, young people are also facing challenges and even life-threatening risks, disproportionately carried by girls and young women in many regions of the country. For instance, child marriage is one of the top reasons for not attending school, according to the 2013 FLEMMS Report; while 28 percent of the reported cases of HIV from 1984-2018 were 15-24 year olds (HIV and AIDS Registry of the Philippines, 2018).

UNFPA develops and strengthens partnerships to prevent and manage pressing sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) issues faced by young people such as adolescent pregnancies, HIV, early marriage, and gender-based violence (GBV) affecting young people, including in humanitarian emergencies.

UNFPA works with the Department of Education (DepEd) in improving access to information and building life skills among young people through the full implementation of Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE). UNFPA works with the Department of Health in analyzing and addressing barriers to family planning, HIV and enhancing the health sector response to GBV (DOH).

At the national level UNFPA also works with the National Youth Commission, and at the sub-national level works with local government units in strengthening the capacities of Sangguniang Kabataan (local youth councils) in addressing SRHR issues. We work with religious and political leaders as well to develop and model interventions in select communities to reduce early marriage, leveraging on a Fatwa prepared with UNFPA support. In addition, UNFPA is supporting HIV prevention programmes for key young populations. Within the United Nations (UN) in the Philippines, UNFPA leads the UN Youth Thematic Group.

Key Projects:

1.            Youth Leadership and Governance Programme (USD 1,500,000 from 2019-2023; of which USD 700,000 is unfunded).

2.            Comprehensive Sexuality Education (USD 1,000,000 from 2019-2023; of which USD 750,000 is unfunded)

3.            HIV Prevention Programmes and Policies for Young Key Populations (USD 1,000,000 from 2019-2023; of which USD 500,000 is unfunded).