Rafael Cuestas, International Coordinator of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Cuba has said that the Island “is a focal point for range social issues, particularly regarding responses to the needs of an ageing population and the development of youth programs.”

The official told The Havana Reporter that at present 19.6% of the Cuban population is aged 60 and over and that by 2030, the figure is expected to surpass 20%.

Rafael Cuestas, International Coordinator of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Cuba has said that the Island β€œis a focal point for range social issues, particularly regarding responses to the needs of an ageing population and the development of youth programs.”“This places a burden on social and health care systems, which is why UNFPA and the Ministries of Health and Education are working together on the development of programs to address the issues” he said.

A demographic data platform is presently being created to help local governments identify and register the condition of each senior citizen.

The Coordinator added that this will facilitate the establishment of community policies aimed improving people’s lives.

Cuestas also highlighted the fact that Cuba is in first place in Latin America and eleventh worldwide in relation to the youth development rate.

UNFPA is studying Cuban youth program models, in order to reproduce them in other countries.

The objective is to put an end to regional negative social phenomena such as the so-called “NINI”, adolescents that neither study nor work.

One of the benefits for Cuba’s youth relates to the quality of reproductive social health.

Cuestas said that Cuba has the lowest pregnancy rate in Latin America.

In this regard, young Cubans are very well educated. “Cuba has made the most progress in the inclusion of educational programs on reproductive sexual health.”

Cuestas also commented that as a result, mother-tochild transmission of HIV has been eliminated, a parameter validated just one year ago by the United Nations HIV/ AIDS Program (UNAIDS).

In order to continue having such results through the promotion of a healthy sex life, UNFPA works closely with institutions such as the Federation of Cuban Women (FMC) and the National Sexual Education Centre.

The FMC and the National Centre on Womens Studies -- supported by UNICEF and the United National Development Program -- are currently conducting a survey on gender violence and equality.

UNFPA, in Cuba since 1971, has three primary objectives: to bring about a world where every pregnancy is a wanted pregnancy, every child birth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled.

The UN organization also contributes to the drafting and updating of the country’s demographic data, for use by the government in taking decisions on social welfare policy.

Other projects focus on the reduction of maternal mortality and adolescent pregnancy rates, gender equality and campaigns against violence directed at women and girls.

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