The UN Population Fund (UNFPA) has launched an $835 million appeal to support people in crisis settings…reports Asian Lite News
With the Covid-19 pandemic and other challenges, the objective is to reach more than 54 million women, girls and young people in 61 countries, reports Xinhua news agency.
“It is critical to recognize that sexual and reproductive health services are not secondary to other forms of emergency services; they are lifesaving. And now, as the world grapples with multiple overlapping catastrophes, they are more vital than ever,” the UN agency said.
Yemen has the greatest need for aid for the third consecutive year, as it needs around $100 million in urgent support, according to UNFPA’s annual humanitarian report.
There are estimates that every two hours, a woman dies in childbirth, and 1 million pregnant and breastfeeding women are acutely malnourished.
More than 68 million dollars is required for services that include gender-based violence protection and response, and also to provide essential commodities such as dignity kits containing menstrual pads, soap and warm winter clothing.
Rounding out the top 10 list of countries with the highest humanitarian funding requirements are the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Sudan, Afghanistan, Nigeria, Venezuela, Haiti, Bangladesh and Lebanon.
UNFPA reported that following the earthquake in Haiti this past August, gender-based violence, including rape and kidnapping, are widespread, which has increased the vulnerability of women and girls.
Taina Camy, a UNFPA expert on preventing and addressing gender-based violence, explained that displaced people are more vulnerable because they are no longer in their homes and are living among strangers.
Furthermore, they do not have access to basic services, such as bathrooms.
“It’s difficult to listen to horrific stories of women who have been sexually abused,” she said recently.
UNFPA is providing counselling and medical services, and working with local organisations and authorities in Haiti to improve conditions for people affected by the earthquake.
The UN agency is also helping to restore health services, as many health facilities were damaged in the crisis.
UNFPA has supported millions of people worldwide during the course of this year.
So far, UNFPA has reached nearly 30 million women with sexual and reproductive health services in 2021.
More than 4.3 million adolescents and young people also received services tailored specifically to them.
The UN agency also assisted in over 1.5 million safe deliveries, supported family planning services for another 6 million people, and ensured more than 2.4 million survivors of gender-based violence received psychosocial support, legal assistance and livelihood training.
Furthermore, at least 2 million people received personal protective equipment so they can continue to provide frontline services during the pandemic.
UNFPA, formerly the UN Fund for Population Activities, aims at improving reproductive and maternal health worldwide.
Its work includes developing national healthcare strategies and protocols, increasing access to birth control, and leading campaigns against child marriage, gender-based violence, obstetric fistula, and female genital mutilation.