Press Release

UNFPA Scales Up Response for Women, Girls in Eye of Hurricane Irma

13 September 2017

UNITED NATIONS, New York — Hurricane Irma brought devastation across much of the Eastern Caribbean, with more than 4 million people affected, including 875,000 women and girls of childbearing age.

Whether a woman lives or dies in crises depends on whether she gets vital reproductive health services, including emergency obstetric care. At any given time, one in five women of childbearing age is likely to be pregnant.

“UNFPA appeals to the international community to urgently support the response for women and girls affected by this crisis,” said Dr. Natalia Kanem, Acting Executive Director of UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund. “The Fund is working closely with all humanitarian actors and governments in affected countries to ensure that women and girls are protected and have access to the services they need for their sexual and reproductive health.”

The Fund has mobilized all available assets in the region for immediate deployment and distribution of medical supplies, according to Esteban Caballero, UNFPA Regional Director for Latin America and the Caribbean.

UNFPA is focusing on providing vital reproductive health services and supplies, emergency obstetric care, dignity kits and psychosocial services. UNFPA is also working to prevent and respond to gender-based violence, which often increases in crises.

Additional funding needed for UNFPA’s Hurricane Irma response is about $3.4 million, which would enable it to help 400,000 women and girls, including 12,000 who are pregnant, with services to protect their safety and survival.


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For more information, please contact:
Jeffrey Bates: phone: + 1 212 297 5208;