Annex 2015



Women and Girls in Humanitarian Settings

Humanitarian crises brought about by natural disasters, conflict, or disease pose a special challenge for family planning services. Women’s reproductive health needs don’t disappear in times of crisis, yet their access to care can be severely compromised. When Nepal was struck by a devastating earthquake in April 2015, an estimated 2 million women and girls of reproductive age and 126,000 pregnant women were among the survivors. UNFPA and IPPF quickly partnered to respond, and within days were setting up mobile health camps to provide urgently needed reproductive care. UNFPA and IPPF were also on the frontlines in providing reproductive care during the Ebola crisis, along with many other partners.

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More than half of all maternal, newborn, and child deaths worldwide occur in humanitarian settings, and health challenges are particularly acute among displaced populations. It is also a grim reality that women and girls are at increased risk of sexual assault, coercion, and exploitation whenever the social order breaks down. The updated Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health addresses these concerns with a new focus on humanitarian and fragile settings, and a call to ensure that emergency response programs take into account the specific reproductive health needs of women and girls.

Photo by: Prashant Panjiar/Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

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