The world is at a critical juncture. We are witnessing the highest level of human suffering since the Second World War. Nearly 60 million people, half of them children, have been forced from their homes due to conflict and violence. The human and economic cost of disasters caused by natural hazards is also escalating. In the last two decades, 218 million people each year were affected by disasters; at an annual cost to the global economy that now exceeds $300 billion.
At the same time, every day, some 500 women and girls die from childbirth and pregnancy in areas affected by, or prone to, conflict or natural disaster. In these settings, women and girls are often cut off from health care and exposed to trauma, malnutrition and disease. But their lives can be saved with access to quality sexual and reproductive health services.
UNFPA In Action:
UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, scaled up its emergency response to help more than 350,000 people who need immediate humanitarian help after Hurricane Matthew pounded Haiti in early October 2016. In particular, UNFPA is deeply concerned about the fate of more than 8,400 pregnant women who are expected to give birth in the next three months, as well as 1,200 women who would need Caesarean sections. In addition, among the 1.125 million people affected by the hurricane, more than 280,000 are women of childbearing age, and would need quality health services.
Here is what UNFPA is doing to help:
1. Distributing Dignity Kits for women and girls:
UNFPA’s Dignity Kits contain essential and important items such as clothes, soap, a comb, feminine hygiene items, flashlights, and other basic necessities to help displaced women and girls.
2. Access to quality sexual and reproductive health services:
UNFPA is deploying mobile health teams to track and care for refugees, paying particular attention to maternal health care and family planning needs to keep mothers safe and to avoid unintended pregnancies.
3. Preventing and managing the consequences of sexual violence:
UNFPA is training local medical staff to identify and refer cases of violence and abuse that spike in times of crisis, and to provide much needed care for survivors of sexual violence.
4. Providing cultural mediators and translators:
UNFPA is helping to ease tensions between refugees and local authorities by providing cultural mediators and translators.
Women and girls living through humanitarian crises urgently need our help. Please show your support!
All contributions (products, services and funding) would be appreciated. For more information, please contact Neema Mgana, UNFPA Strategic Partnerships Branch: firstname.lastname@example.org