Press Release

Emergency UNFPA airlift arrives in Haiti

26 March 2004
Author: UNFPA

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti – An airlift of emergency medical supplies from UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, has arrived in the Haitian capital of Port-au-Prince. The provisions – which include drugs and supplies for safe childbirth and for treatment of rape and sexually-transmitted infection – are urgently needed after weeks of civil conflict have led to the destruction and looting of much of Haiti’s health care system and continue to contribute to alarming levels of sexual violence.

The airlift received on Thursday includes emergency obstetric supplies and equipment for clinics and hospitals looted during the civil unrest that has ravaged Haiti in recent weeks. UNFPA will manage distribution throughout the country with partners UNICEF and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO). The three agencies have been working together to minimize maternal mortality since the crisis began.

In addition, UNFPA is focusing on providing drugs and services for victims of sexual violence and for the prevention and treatment of sexually transmitted infections.

UNFPA Haiti Representative Hernando Clavijo says that reports of increased sexual violence are extremely troubling not just for the physical and psychological trauma they inflict on women but also due to Haiti’s high HIV/AIDS prevalence rate. At 4.5 per cent, Haiti's HIV/AIDS prevalence rate is the highest in the Americas.

UNFPA and UNICEF and PAHO have also developed a joint communications strategy to encourage use of health services, particularly for women who have suffered sexual violence. As part of its emphasis on HIV prevention, UNFPA is also accelerating the distribution of condoms already on hand and is stocking up to ensure a sufficient supply for the coming months.

UNFPA is part of the United Nations team responsible for the health sector in the inter-agency Flash Appeal released 9 March. In a request developed jointly with UNAIDS, UNFPA is asking donors for $2.4 million to supplement its regular programme activities to meet emergency reproductive health needs for the next six months.

Contact Information:

Hernando Clavijo, UNFPA Representative Haiti
Tel.: +509 558 2346
Email: clavijo@unfpa.org

David del Vecchio
Tel.: +1 (212) 297-4975
Email: delvecchio@unfpa.org

Haiti
Population : 11.4 mil
Fertility rate
2.8
Maternal Mortality Ratio
480
Contraceptives prevalence rate
27
Population aged 10-24
29.9%

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