Maternal mortality in humanitarian crises and in fragile settings

November 2015
Author: UNFPA

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The number of maternal deaths in the 35 countries currently affected by a humanitarian crisis or fragile conditions is estimated as 185,000 in 2015, which is 61 per cent of the global estimate of maternal deaths (303,000). This equates to an estimated ratio of 417 maternal deaths per 100,000 live births, which is 1.9 times higher than the global estimate of 216.

By the end of 2015, about 99 per cent of the world’s maternal deaths will have occurred in developing regions, with countries affected by a humanitarian crisis or fragile conditions accounting for almost 2 in 3 (61 per cent) cases. 

The new Global Strategy for Women’s, Children’s and Adolescents’ Health aims to help countries achieve the ambitious target of ending preventable maternal deaths by 2030, included in the Sustainable Development Goals. This translates into reducing maternal deaths to fewer than 70 per 100,000 live births. Reaching this goal will require advancing the pace of progress – from the 2.3 per cent annual improvement that was recorded between 1990 and 2015 to 7.5 per cent per year beginning next year.