UNFPA Logo

UNFPA - United Nations Population Fund

Annual Report 2004

www.unfpa.org

Assisting in Emergencies

Assisting in Emergencies

The priority given to reproductive health in times of armed conflict or natural disaster is much higher now than it was when the ICPD was held 10 years ago. Supplies for safe delivery and emergency obstetric care, once rarely included in emergency assistance, are now part of the immediate humanitarian response. Awareness is widespread about the heightened risks of unwanted pregnancy, STIs and sexual violence in crisis situations and refugee camps.

In 2004, UNFPA provided assistance in crisis situations and to reconstruction and emergency preparedness programmes in more than 40 countries. UNFPA mobilized funds for urgent action, participating actively in the UN Consolidated Appeal Process. In the last four years, the largest responses to UNFPA requests for emergencies came from Belgium, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, the United Nations Foundation and the European Commission.

EQUIPMENT AND SUPPLIES

UNFPA dispatched emergency reproductive health kits valued at nearly $2.7 million in 2004. The readyto- ship kits are packed with supplies to meet specific needs, such as clean and safe delivery, prevention of HIV/AIDS and other STIs, family planning, rape management and emergency obstetric care for complications.

.................................................................................................

RECONSTRUCTION

After the acute phase of a crisis, UNFPA continues to assist communities as they rebuild facilities and restore services - a contribution to longer-term development.

.................................................................................................

DATA AND ANALYSIS

Accurate data helps determine what action should be taken next. UNFPA's growing expertise in data collection and analysis contributes to the planning, monitoring and evaluation of humanitarian responses.

.................................................................................................

TRAINING AND EDUCATION

Protecting reproductive health under crisis conditions requires special knowledge, skills and attitudes. UNFPA supports programmes for staff, health workers and partners in UN organizations, NGOs and governments, as well as for populations made vulnerable by conflict or natural disaster.

.................................................................................................

ADVOCACY AND AWARENESS-RAISING

UNFPA works to make reproductive health a higher priority in national policies and laws and in humanitarian assistance programmes. UNFPA also raises awareness of women's needs and roles. Risks from pregnancy, childbirth, rape and HIV/AIDS are intensified by crisis; at the same time, women are the source of strength and care for children, the injured and other survivors.

Tsunami: UNFPA Response

An Indonesian woman receiving a kit with personal hygiene supplies soon after the tsunami devastated her home and village.

TSUNAMI: UNFPA RESPONSE

UNFPA is committed to ensuring the reproductive health and wellbeing of those who survived the tsunami of 26 December 2004 and supporting their efforts to recover. Many pregnant women face the danger of giving birth alone because of the deaths of midwives and damage to health facilities. UNFPA is working with national authorities, UN agencies and other partners to: restore health services; help ensure the security, hygiene and dignity of displaced women and girls; and provide counselling for people traumatized by the disaster.

In the countries hit hardest, UNFPA moved rapidly to meet immediate needs for reproductive health commodities, including supplies for clean and safe childbirth, equipment for emergency obstetric care, and contraceptives and condoms for dual protection against unwanted pregnancy and HIV/AIDS.

In Indonesia , after the tsunami, UNFPA set up an office in Aceh and provided hygiene kits, medicines, medical equipment and supplies for distribution by NGOs - 18 tons were shipped in the first two months and the effort is ongoing. A key priority is to assist the thousands of pregnant women living in temporary settlements; an estimated 800 will give birth per month. Working with WHO, the Ministry of Health and provincial and district health offices, UNFPA will focus on re-establishing basic reproductive health services, providing training and equipment, restoring infrastructure at hospitals and health posts, and creating referral systems for obstetric emergencies.

The Fund is also working to improve access to health services for displaced and remote populations. It has provided support to re-establish the Aceh provincial office of the National Family Planning Coordinating Board.

Counsellors are being trained at two community health centres in Banda Aceh to run UNFPA-supported psychosocial counselling programmes at eight community health centres in the worst-hit parts of Aceh.

In Sri Lanka , UNFPA helped set up temporary sites for reproductive health and family planning services where clinics were destroyed. It sent supplies to facilities to safeguard maternal health and meet other reproductive health needs, addressed gender violence in temporary shelters, and provided psychosocial counselling to help survivors cope and rebuild their lives.

To restore dignity and meet simple human needs, the Fund worked with the National Youth Services Council to assemble and distribute hundreds of thousands of hygiene supplies to women and girls.

In the Maldives , UNFPA has supported the travel of counselling teams to work with communities most affected by the disaster, and trained health workers in psychosocial support. UNFPA has supported safe shelters for women, monitored the distribution of relief supplies to prevent exploitation, and trained counsellors and health workers.

In Thailand , UNFPA is collaborating with partners to ensure high-quality maternal and child health and family planning services at health centres and mobile clinics in communities constructed for those displaced by the tsunami, including migrant workers from Myanmar.

 

<< 5. Confronting the HIV/AIDS Crisis | 7. Poverty, Population & Development >>