Press Release

15 January 2010

Appeal Launched for Emergency Assistance to Thousands of Pregnant Women at High Risk in Haiti

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UNITED NATIONS — Estimates that there could be as many as 63,000 pregnant women among the 3 million people affected by Haiti’s earthquake have led to an urgent appeal to meet their emergency maternal health needs.

The earthquake has devastated Haiti’s health system and many of the hospitals and clinics in Port–Au-Prince have been damaged. The remaining can barely handle the thousands in need of medical care. The current situation is putting the lives of thousands of women and their infants at risk from complications related to pregnancy and child birth.

To meet the urgent maternal health and other needs of women, UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, is seeking about $4.6 million as part of the coordinated United Nations Flash Appeal that will be launched today. The funding would supplement the supplies UNFPA is already providing in Haiti and address the specific needs of women, girls and other vulnerable populations for the next six months. The additional funds would enable UNFPA to help:

  • Refurbish maternity wards to handle emergency obstetric care and other life-saving health services;
  • Deploy skilled health professionals, such as midwives, obstetricians and nurses, to affected areas to provide maternal health and emergency obstetric care;
  • Provide emergency safe delivery and reproductive health medicines and supplies to the temporary clinics and health facilities that are being set up;
  • Help safeguard the personal hygiene and dignity of women and girls by providing appropriate supplies;
  • Facilitate access of affected populations, especially young people, to psychosocial counselling and other services;
  • Carry out interventions to prevent gender-based violence.

 

In Port-au-Prince
Trygve Olfarnes, Tel: +507  6400 6653 (mobile and sms), Satellite: + 881 631 692 731, olfarnes@unfpa.org.

In New York:
Jessica Malter, Tel: + 1 212 297 5190, (mobile) 646-732-0047 malter@unpfa.org
Omar Gharzeddine, Tel: + 1 212 297 5028 gharzeddine@unfpa.org