TITLE: United Nations Population Fund
ACCESS: http://www.unfpa.org/

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), created in 1969, is the largest international source of population assistance for developing countries. Its web site contains information on the organization itself, as well as on reproduction, population, development, gender issues, and health problems such as HIV/AIDS.

The site provides many of its publications online in full-text (generally in PDF, Word, or HTML) format. Most of the publications are available in English, French, and Spanish. The link to the latest edition (year 2000) of UNFPA's most well known publication, State of World Population, is prominently displayed on the site's home page. Made available in HTML format, it is easy to navigate the report via hyperlinks in the Table of Contents, and includes charts, graphs, tables, photographs, and indicators. Other statistical reports that can be accessed from the site include Maternal Mortality Update 1998-1999, Contraceptive Use and Commodity Costs in Developing Countries 1994-2005, and Demographic and Reproductive Health Survey (conducted February 2000).

Also available on the site are two periodicals, Dispatches (the UNFPA's newsletter) and the magazine Populi, which contains articles on a variety of population-related topics. There are also links to a wide-range of UNFPA-produced reports, documents, and technical publications, including Population Issues Briefing Kit, which provides synopses of sociological, political, and health issues such as "Urbanization and Migration," "Reproductive Health and Rights," "Sustainable Development," and "Empowering Women, Ending Violence." All of the publications on the UNFPA web site appear to be the most currently available versions; the news section of the site seems to be updated often.

Other sections of the UNFPA site are devoted to specific UNFPA programs. There is also a regional component of the site, however at present, only the pages dedicated to the "Arab States and Europe," and "Asia and Pacific" offer anything other than lists of UNFPA field offices in the regions. The "Asia and Pacific" section offers comprehensive information on the area, including issues, overviews and country-by-country reports and documents. The entire site is searchable using keywords and basic Boolean operators and results are displayed in relevance-ranking order.

The UNFPA web site has some very useful introductory information for undergraduate students who are unfamiliar with some of the major issues involved in international population. The site also offers essential statistics for more advanced students and faculty, especially those researching demographic, development, gender equity, or reproductive health issues.

Geraldine Foudy
University of Maryland at College Park
gf48@umail.umd.edu


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