Press Release

UNFPA helping Pregnant Women Deliver Safely in Yemen

27 July 2015
Author: UNFPA

UNITED NATIONS, New York, 27  July 2015—As the United Nations intensifies its humanitarian efforts to respond to the ongoing crisis in Yemen, UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, is working with partners to ensure safe birth for pregnant women and to prevent and respond to gender-based violence.

Among the more than 21 million people affected by the conflict, an estimated 472,000 women are pregnant, of whom nearly 70,000 might experience complications over the next nine months, requiring emergency obstetric care. Pregnant women are more vulnerable in crisis situations due to factors such as movement restrictions and the closure of health facilities.

To meet the needs of these women, UNFPA has sent equipment for emergency obstetric and newborn care to Sana’a, Lahj and Sa’adah. The Fund was also part of the first UN aid convoy of 19 trucks to enter Aden earlier this month, carrying 356.5 metric tonnes of medical equipment, vaccines, cooking supplies and hygiene items, which will benefit more than half a million people.

Reproductive health supplies and equipment were also delivered to Alwahda Hospital in Aden and to hospitals in the districts of Sheikh Othman and Al-Mansourah. The supplies will benefit at least 33,200 pregnant women and 166,000 women and girls aged 15 to 49, as well as support 4,980 complicated deliveries with services to protect mothers and newborns.

To date, UNFPA has provided reproductive health kits, worth more than $500,000, to serve more than 1.8 million women of reproductive age. These kits include supplies for saving the lives of women and newborns during deliveries, managing miscarriages, and treating infections and rape, as well as contraceptives for family planning users. 

Among the nearly 1.3 million internally displaced people, many are women struggling to support large families alone, with little access to health care, protection, education or work opportunities.

Through the Yemeni Women’s Union and other partners, dignity kits worth $850,000 are being distributed to ease the hardship of both women and men. So far, 26,000 kits with essential items, such as clothes, soap, towels and flashlights, have been disbursed in Sana’a and other governorates. Additional kits will be distributed when the security situation allows it.

UNFPA is also supporting psychosocial counselling for displaced women and children in Sana'a, as well as services to respond to gender-based violence in conflict-affected areas.

Lack of adequate funding for humanitarian activities is preventing a much-needed scale-up of humanitarian efforts.  The Yemen Humanitarian Response plan is now 15 per cent funded, with $232.3 million in contributions made against the $1.6 billion in requirements.

***

For more information, please contact:
Omar Gharzeddine:  Tel:  +1 212 297 5018; gharzeddine@unfpa.org
Yasir Iftikhar: Tel: +962 796 992 606; yiftikhar@unfpa.org