Press Release

Australia Supports UNFPA Efforts to Provide Health Care for Displaced Sri Lankan Women

15 June 2009

COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — The Australian Government will donate $383,400 (AUD 500,000) to support efforts by UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, to meet the health needs of thousands of women displaced by the conflict in northern Sri Lanka.

About 75,000 of the 280,000 recently displaced people living in camps in the area are women and girls of reproductive age who need basic hygiene support and reproductive health care; an estimated 6,000 are pregnant and in urgent need of services, including potentially lifesaving obstetric care.

The funding will enable UNFPA to work with government health authorities to set up family health clinics in each of the five zones of the Menik Farm camp, which accommodates the largest number of displaced people. These clinics will exclusively serve women, providing antenatal and post-natal exams, emergency deliveries by skilled birth attendants and psychosocial counselling, among other services.

“This generous contribution from the Government of Australia will be critical in safeguarding the reproductive health and personal hygiene of women in these camps,” said Ms. Lene K. Christiansen, UNFPA Representative in Sri Lanka.

The Australian support will further enable UNFPA to continue distributing personal hygiene packs to displaced women and girls, maternity kits for pregnant women, and reproductive health equipment and supplies for hospitals providing lifesaving obstetric care for displaced women before, during and after childbirth.

Contact Information:

Ms. Lankani Sikurajapathy
+ 11-2580840

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