Japan contributes $1.4 million to UNFPA maternal health project for Afghan refugees in Iran

16 June 2021
Mother and child from a UNFPA supported programme. @UNFPA Iran

This funding will enable UNFPA and partners to provide enhanced access to quality and affordable maternal and reproductive health services at all health system levels for Afghan refugee and host community women.

UNFPA partners with governments and national organizations to strengthen health systems, train health workers, educate midwives and improve access to a full range of reproductive health services. 
Alongside the Government of Japan, UNFPA is committed to humanitarian action for improving maternal health services delivered to the Afghan refugee population residing in Settlements amid increased demand and pandemic-related adversity. 
Afghanistan is facing one of the world’s most complex and prolonged humanitarian emergencies, characterized by four decades of armed conflict and displacement of Afghan refugees into neighboring countries. 

As a result of bordering Afghanistan, the Islamic Republic of Iran hosts a large refugee population and currently ranks as the fifth largest refugee-hosting country in the world.  According to the Government of Iran and the UN Refugee Agency, some 2,000 to 2,500 Afghans arrive in Iran every day.

Refugees are among the world’s most vulnerable populations, with refugee women and girls experiencing advanced health issues and an increased risk of violence. 

“By supporting this project through UNFPA, Japan has yet again demonstrated its global commitment in championing women's health and protecting their rights,” said Dr. Sathya Doraiswamy, UNFPA Representative in Iran. 

H.E. Mr. Aikawa Kazutoshi, Ambassador of Japan to Iran, added, “Japan has strongly committed to the improvement of the livelihood of women and children globally. Particularly, it is crucial to facilitate the expectant mother’s access to health care and maternal services. ”

Japan was the eighth highest core contributor to UNFPA in 2020, and the country has been an effective partner for UNFPA in Iran, contributing more than $10 million over the past four years in support of ending gender-based violence, promoting sexual and reproductive health and rights, and providing maternal and newborn health services and emergency obstetric care.

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