UNFPA is the lead UN agency for delivering a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person's potential is fulfilled.

The Maldives is a young democracy attempting to build on considerable economic and human development gains. Its population of 402,071 is dispersed over 188 islands. The Maldives graduated to middle income country status in 2011, but there continue to be significant pockets of poverty and deprivation throughout the country.

Nearly half the population (47 per cent) is below the age of 25; young people between 10 and 24 years old comprise of 28 per cent of the population. The Maldives has witnessed major social change, including accelerating urbanization, with the emergence of new problems, such as extremism, drug abuse and gang violence. A large proportion of the youth population is confronted by these major challenges, which often play out differently for young women and men as they transition to adulthood. Youth face serious labour market constraints and high unemployment; a need for enhanced high quality education, including in socio-emotional skills, and for preventive health services, including adolescent and youth friendly reproductive health services. Geographic isolation and unevenly distributed economic development pose particular challenges in Maldives that require innovative programmatic problem solving.

UNFPA’s country programme in the Maldives (2016-2020) embarks on a new strategic engagement that recognizes the capacities of the Maldives as a middle income country and the fact that key reproductive health indicators, such as skilled attendance at birth, reduction of maternal mortality and coverage of antenatal care, were maintained on par with other middle-income countries. This country programme is focused on young people and strives to achieve one specific output: “increased accountability and responsiveness of duty bearers in Maldives to young people’s rights to reproductive health information and services”.

UNFPA’s country programme in the Maldives is for youth, by youth and #withyouth.