The UN Population Fund (UNFPA) says more than half of all maternal deaths occur in countries affected by humanitarian crises and fragility.
As a result, the agency is calling for greater international support to provide life-saving reproductive health and protection services in these locations.
The UNFPA launched a $683 million appeal this year to assist nearly 48 million women, girls and young people in 57 countries affected by conflict or natural disasters.
“Women and girls pay a high price in conflicts that they had no role in creating. It is time to prioritize their rights, safety and dignity in humanitarian action. During crises and conflict, violence against women and girls is staggering”, said Dr. Natalia Kanem UNFPA Executive Director.
“Women do not stop getting pregnant and having babies when crisis strikes. We must provide them with the services and the support they need.”
UNFPA’s Humanitarian Action 2020 Overview outlines how women and girls face unique challenges during humanitarian disasters, including increased risk of death from complications of pregnancy and childbirth, and increased risk of gender-based violence (GBV).
Through the plan, UNFPA and its partners will provide life-saving sexual and reproductive health supplies and services, prevention and response to gender-based violence, and mental health and psychosocial support.
Last year, UNFPA reached over 19 million people in more than 60 countries. More than seven million women received sexual and reproductive health services, including antenatal and postnatal care, emergency obstetric and newborn care, and the clinical management of rape.