Afghanistan: On the ground delivering for women and girls

The world has read the headlines and seen the photographs of the rapidly evolving political situation. The volatile situation is constantly being assessed as the safety of staff and partners is a priority. 

The latest political and social upheaval compounds the humanitarian crises wrought by decades of conflict, extreme weather events and COVID-19. An estimated 18.4 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance and the current crisis risks depriving women and girls of access to basic reproductive health and protection services.

While there are a great many unknowns, here’s what is not in doubt: the progress Afghanistan has made in increasing freedom and rights and dramatically lowering maternal mortality through improved access to skilled care during pregnancy and delivery must not be erased or eroded.

UNFPA is on the ground working with its partners to ensure access to life-saving reproductive health and protection services at community, village and district levels and in camps. Currently, UNFPA is supporting 171 family health houses, which provide maternal health services in remote areas. Thirty-seven family protection centres located in provincial and district-level government hospitals provide free, confidential health and psychosocial counselling services for survivors of violence. Five mobile health teams are providing reproductive, maternal, newborn, child and adolescent health services, while UNFPA’s Midwifery Help Line offers remote support to midwives and youth health corners. In addition, Youth Health Lines are providing health services and information to young people.

Guided by the humanitarian principles of humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence, UNFPA is committed to delivering in Afghanistan, with our response grounded in our mission to uphold the rights of girls and women, who must be part of any humanitarian response.