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Family planning

Every woman should be able to choose the number and spacing of her children. Yet 13% of currently married women in Cambodia who do not want any more children are not using any form of contraception (CDHS 2014) due to various reasons, including lack of access to information, financial barriers, inconvenience or fear of side effects.

UNFPA Cambodia works to support family planning by supporting in-service training of health providers at a grassroots level, ensuring a regular supply of family planning methods (eg procurement of contraceptives), promoting public awareness through mass media, comprehensive sexuality education and outreach projects to villages. UNFPA also provides technical assistance to its partners, including the Government, for the development of protocols and policies.


The training of midwives is crucial to providing quality maternal and newborn care programmes. According to the WHO, half of all perinatal deaths could be prevented with provision of skilled care during birth. Yet many people in rural Cambodia still prefer to deliver their children under the assistance of traditional birth attendants, who have not received any medical training, due to limited accessibility to hospitals and financial barriers.

UNFPA Cambodia works in partnership with various agencies to improve maternal health and shape community practices. UNFPA supports the training of midwives on basic and comprehensive emergency obstetric and newborn care to ensure quality service is provided and that midwives are equipped with the most updated knowledge.

Maternal health

Providing maternal and newborn health services for all women saves lives. Cambodia has made significant progress in reducing the maternal mortality ratio from 472 (2005) to 170 per 100,000 live births (2014). However, while nine out of ten Cambodian women now receive antenatal care, costs of services, additional fees and out-of-pocket expenses still act as barriers to maternity care for many.

UNFPA supports the development of quality reproductive health services (including maternity waiting homes), improves availability of emergency obstetric and newborn care facilities and formal payment systems in healthcare centres, and promotes women’s rights to maternal health care, with a particular focus on ensuring that poor and marginalized women also have access to care and facilities for safe deliveries.

Sexual and reproductive Health

Everyone should have access to accurate sexual and reproductive health information and care so that they are informed and empowered to make decisions about their sexual lives. Couples should be able to choose the number and spacing of their children, people should be able to protect themselves from sexually transmitted infections and women should have access to maternity care to ensure a safe delivery and a healthy baby. In Cambodia, vulnerable groups (eg migrant garment factory workers, entertainment workers, most at risk youth) may be particularly prone to sexual and reproductive health risks.

UNFPA supports the development of comprehensive sexuality education, promotes information exchange through media platforms and supports initiatives focusing on maternal health, family planning and entertainment worker’s health.