Press Release

Urgent Maternal Health, Protection Needs of Women, Girls Focus of UNFPA Response in Haiti

07 October 2016

UNITED NATIONS, New York—UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, is scaling up its emergency response to help more than 350,000 people who need immediate humanitarian help after Hurricane Matthew pounded Haiti this week. In particular, UNFPA is deeply concerned about the fate of more than 8,400 pregnant women who are expected to give birth in the next three months, as well as 1,200 women who would need Caesarean sections. In addition, among the 1.125 million people affected by the hurricane, more than 280,000 are women of childbearing age, and would need quality health services.

"Hurricane Matthew delivered a severe blow to Haiti's health facilities, whether by flooding these centres or blowing off their roofs and putting them out of service," said Dr. Babatunde Osotimehin, UNFPA Executive Director. “Our urgent task is to protect the health and rights of women and girls, and to ensure that their basic needs, which are often overlooked in humanitarian situations, are quickly met. We will work to help women give birth and live, despite this tragedy.”

UNFPA is also concerned that, with the disruption of services, women and girls in affected areas face higher risks of gender-based violence.

To protect women's health and rights, UNFPA is sending 252 emergency reproductive health kits that will provide equipment, medicines and supplies for safe deliveries, voluntary family planning, rape treatment and other services for 450,000 people for the next three months. Working with the Government of Haiti and other partners, UNFPA will also provide access to sexual and reproductive health services through one-stop centres that will be staffed with local midwives who have graduated from a UNFPA-supported midwifery school. In addition, the Fund will rehabilitate 15 maternity clinics and support maternity centres and mobile clinics for rape and violence survivors. A total of $5 million needs to be raised for these services.

For more information, please contact:
Omar Gharzeddine:  Tel:  +1 212 297 5028,

*To learn more about UNFPA's efforts to make women’s health, safety and dignity a global humanitarian priority, check Safe Birth Even Here campaign

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