Humanitarian Action 2021 Overview

Women do not stop giving birth, and risks of gender-based violence increase during conflicts and disasters. The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored existing inequalities and the disproportionate impact of crises on women and girls. In response, UNFPA’s life-saving work is more important than ever. 

The UNFPA Humanitarian Action 2021 Overview highlights the needs and rights of women and adolescent girls in emergencies, which are often overlooked. UNFPA is appealing for $818 million, to reach 54 million women, girls and young people, including 35 million women of reproductive age, 29 million adolescents and young people, and over 4 million pregnant women in 68 countries.


This is UNFPA’s largest ever humanitarian appeal with an emphasis on the provision of integrated services for sexual and reproductive health, gender-based violence prevention and response, and mental health and psychosocial support. UNFPA calls for more investment in local women-led organizations as well as youth organizations that work as frontline responders and changemakers. The appeal also outlines the importance of taking a coordinated approach for humanitarian, development and peacebuilding efforts to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.

In collaboration with our partners and in solidarity with communities, UNFPA is adapting to evolving needs and innovating, based on data and evidence, to reach those most in need during the COVID-19 pandemic. Extraordinary cooperation and resourcefulness in 2020 enabled us to reach more than 7 million women in 53 countries with sexual and reproductive health services, 4.4 million people with family planning supplies and services, and 2.8 million people with services to address gender-based violence.

Invest in Women and Girls in Humanitarian Crises

This film, produced by students at the NYU Tisch School of the Arts in collaboration with the UNFPA Humanitarian Office, highlights the disproportionate impact of humanitarian crises on women and adolescent girls and the need for greater investment in their health, protection and leadership. The credits can be found at the end of the film. 

Snapshot of Countries Requiring UNFPA Support in 2021

It is anticipated that in 2021 UNFPA will respond to emergencies in over 68 countries, striving to bring safety, health and dignity to women, girls and young people. This map displays funding requirements for all countries included in UNFPA’s humanitarian appeal for 2021.

  • Humanitarian funding required
  • Snapshot of humanitarian needs in countries with top funding requirements

The designations employed and the presentation of material on the map do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of UNFPA concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries. Due to coding limitations the wording across the indicators is standard, both in the global page and the individual country pages. The wording is applied homogeneously to all reporting offices and is by no means an endorsement or statement of recognition of sovereignty. A dotted line represents approximately the Line of Control in Jammu and Kashmir agreed upon by India and Pakistan. The final status of Jammu and Kashmir has not yet been agreed upon by the parties.

A dispute exists between the Governments of Argentina and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland concerning sovereignty over the Falkland Islands (Malvinas).
The boundaries and names shown and the designations used on this map do not imply official endorsement or acceptance by the United Nations.