Press Release

Women and girls still suffering immense hardship as war in Ukraine passes one year mark

24 February 2023

Fact Sheet: The Ukraine crisis at a glance


New York/Kyiv, 24 February 2023 – One year on from Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, UNFPA, the United Nations sexual and reproductive health agency, warns of the war’s continuing devastating impacts on women and girls.

Attacks on hospitals, roads and energy infrastructure have caused widespread blackouts and disrupted basic services in Ukraine. Around 195,000 babies were born in Ukraine in 2022 amid the chaos of war. Many expectant mothers have been forced to give birth in basements and bomb shelters in dire conditions. For thousands of pregnant women without access to essential services, childbirth is now fraught with added danger.

“Every woman and girl must have access to sexual and reproductive health and protection services. These are not peacetime luxuries; they are essential and save lives,” said Dr. Natalia Kanem, UNFPA Executive Director. “Ukrainian women and girls have shown remarkable resilience. UNFPA’s priority remains ensuring that they can access the critical services and support they need; this is especially critical for pregnant women and survivors of sexual and other forms of violence."

UNFPA is working with partners to deliver reproductive health services, across Ukraine including in areas close to the front lines as well as in neighbouring countries. Over a third of all births in Ukraine in 2022 – some 68,500 – were delivered at one of the 51 maternity facilities supported by UNFPA.

The war, and the mass displacement it has caused, has increased women and girls’ risks of violence – including sexual violence – exploitation and abuse. In response, more than 120,000 people have received gender-based violence assistance and referrals through UNFPA-supported protection services in Ukraine over the last year. 

In 2023, UNFPA is seeking $99 million to provide life-saving reproductive health and protection services in Ukraine, the Republic of Moldova and other neighbouring refugee-hosting countries and calls on governments and donors to sustain and increase funding.

Quotes from UNFPA Representatives in Ukraine and Moldova

Jaime Nadal, UNFPA Representative in Ukraine: “The war in Ukraine has also been a war on women and girls. From providing sexual and reproductive health services to ensuring access to protection services for survivors of gender-based violence and sexual violence, UNFPA is focusing on life-saving interventions and targeting those who are most at need.”

Nigina Abaszade, UNFPA Representative in the Republic of Moldova: “Women and girls make up more than 60 percent of the refugees in Moldova. UNFPA is on the ground to ensure they are treated with dignity and will continue to invest in strengthening reproductive health and protection systems for refugees and Moldovans alike.”

UNFPA media contacts:

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