Assisting in Emergencies

When emergencies strike, life can change in an instant. Conflict and natural disasters can destroy homes and communities – or suddenly drive people from them. Forced to flee or find shelter, often with little more than the clothes on their backs, families and individuals find themselves without basic necessities – from obvious things like food and water to hygiene supplies, contraceptives and medical care.

UNFPA invites you to learn more about the critical role of women in the aftermath of disaster: dealing with their own reproductive health, caring for others and rebuilding communities. Read and share Women Are the Fabric.

In times of upheaval, pregnancy-related deaths and sexual violence soar. Reproductive health services - including prenatal care, assisted delivery, and emergency obstetric care - often become unavailable. Young people become more vulnerable to HIV infection and sexual exploitation. And many women lose access to family planning services, exposing them to unwanted pregnancy in perilous conditions.

UNFPA moves quickly when emergency strikes, to protect the reproductive health of communities in crisis. It also provides assistance to stricken communities as they move beyond the acute crisis and enter the reconstruction phase. The Fund also supports various data collection activities, including censuses to provide detailed information for planning and rapid health assessments to allow for appropriate, effective and efficient relief.

Latest News

11 November 2014

In Liberia, contact tracing key to curtailing Ebola’s spread

MONROVIA, Liberia – Although there are signs the Ebola outbreak in Liberia is slowing, the fight against the disease remains an uphill battle. Underlying problems with the health system continue to impede public health responses, and rumours are discouraging people from seeking help. To extend the reach of health workers and calm fears about the outbreak, UNFPA is playing a key role in contact tracing and disease surveillance efforts. more
04 November 2014

UNFPA supports pregnant women affected by floods in Pakistan

PUNJAB PROVINCE, Pakistan – When torrential rains flooded Asma Bibi’s village last month, the pregnant 18 year old was able to reach a rural health centre in the neighbouring Jhang District, where she received basic care and health supplies. But not all expectant mothers were able to make it to higher ground. more
31 October 2014

When the fear follows: Women's centres help Syrian refugees cope

DEIR ALLA, Jordan – “All I know is that I needed help badly,” said Reem,* a 22-year-old mother of three. She is one of some 619,000 Syrian refugees who have been forced to cross the border into Jordan. Struggling to adjust to life far from home, she has received psychosocial support from a women’s centre in Deir Alla, Jordan, supported by UNFPA and the Institute for Family Health. more