Republic of Korea commits $1 million to UNFPA's humanitarian action thematic fund

29 November 2019
UNFPA Executive Director Dr. Natalia Kanem meets Republic of Korea Vice Foreign Minister Lee Taeho. Photo courtesy of the Republic of Korea Ministry of Foreign Affairs

UNFPA will be able to continue responding to sexual and reproductive health needs when crises erupt thanks to $1 million in new financing by the Republic of Korea to the Humanitarian Thematic Action Fund (HTF).

The contribution is one of the highest received to date for the HTF, whose other top donors include Canada, Denmark and Norway. It brings the total mobilized so far for the fund to $5.65 million.

Launched in June 2018, the HTF provides flexible and multi-year financing that enables UNFPA to respond quickly at the beginning of a crisis, even if an emergency is underfunded. It aims to close future humanitarian funding gaps by raising the total amount available to respond to emergencies – and to channel that funding where it is most needed. The HTF pools contributions from both government and private donors to reduce overall transaction costs, and covers all aspects of UNFPA’s humanitarian response appeals.

UNFPA plays a critical role in humanitarian emergencies by helping deliver the Minimum Initial Service Package, a series of life-saving actions that seek to prevent gender-based violence, contain the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, and reduce maternal and newborn deaths and illnesses. Ensuring sexual and reproductive health and rights and combating gender-based violence are crucial in humanitarian settings, where basic health services break down and women and girls are highly vulnerable to abuse.

The Republic of Korea was UNFPA's thirteenth top donor in non-core contributions, nineteenth in core contributions and eighteenth overall in 2014-2018. Over the past five years, this donor has supported UNFPA humanitarian programmes in Bangladesh, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Iraq, South Sudan and Syria.

In 2018 alone, financial support from the Republic of Korea helped UNFPA save around 103,000 lives, avert an estimated 301,000 unintended pregnancies and 89,000 unsafe abortions, provide sexual and reproductive health to roughly 240,000 women, and prevent approximately 63,000 sexually transmitted diseases. UNFPA also relied on funding from this donor to assist around 10,000 safe deliveries in humanitarian and fragile contexts.

"We are pleased to do our part to support UNFPA's crucial humanitarian work," said Oh Hyunjoo, Director-General for Development Cooperation of the Republic of Korea’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. "Our contribution demonstrates our firm commitment to fight sexual and gender-based violence in humanitarian crises."

Earlier this year, the Republic of Korea also contributed funds to help organize the recently concluded Nairobi Summit on ICPD25.

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