Even as reproductive health service coverage has improved for international refugees over the past decade, progress has
lagged in providing services for people internally displaced
within states, who outnumber refugees worldwide two to one.
In Angola, where hundreds of thousands remain displaced
after nearly three decades of war, a severe lack of basic safe motherhood services has resulted in one of the highest maternal mortality ratios in the world. The situation is unlikely to
improve without a massive, long-term effort including the reconstruction and re-supplying of health facilities, the training of health professionals, and the establishment of basic
referral services and transportation for complications requiring emergency obstetric care.
Internally displaced persons in Liberia have also been without
even minimum health services for more than a decade.
Internally displaced persons present a special challenge to
the humanitarian community, particularly with regard to reproductive health service provision. National authorities often neglect the displaced, and are sometimes hostile to
them. Agencies like UNHCR and UNFPA have expanded their mandates over the past decade to include internally displaced persons, and have made some progress in linking them to
national health systems. But millions remain inaccessible to these organizations.
Governments in countries where displaced persons live
must do more to recognize their rights, while donor countries have to increase funding and political pressure to ensure their needs are not ignored. See Sources