Assisting in Emergencies

When emergencies strike, life can change in an instant. Conflict and natural disasters can destroy homes and communities – or suddenly drive people from them. Forced to flee or find shelter, often with little more than the clothes on their backs, families and individuals find themselves without basic necessities – from obvious things like food and water to hygiene supplies, contraceptives and medical care.

UNFPA invites you to learn more about the critical role of women in the aftermath of disaster: dealing with their own reproductive health, caring for others and rebuilding communities. Read and share Women Are the Fabric.

In times of upheaval, pregnancy-related deaths and sexual violence soar. Reproductive health services - including prenatal care, assisted delivery, and emergency obstetric care - often become unavailable. Young people become more vulnerable to HIV infection and sexual exploitation. And many women lose access to family planning services, exposing them to unwanted pregnancy in perilous conditions.

UNFPA moves quickly when emergency strikes, to protect the reproductive health of communities in crisis. It also provides assistance to stricken communities as they move beyond the acute crisis and enter the reconstruction phase. The Fund also supports various data collection activities, including censuses to provide detailed information for planning and rapid health assessments to allow for appropriate, effective and efficient relief.

Latest News

11 September 2014

Pregnant women forced to flee escalating crisis in Iraq

DUHOK, Iraq – As hostilities neared her village in northern Iraq, 30-year-old Khawla had little choice but to flee – while she was eight months pregnant. She and her seven children spent days on the run before Khawla gave birth in a UNFPA-assisted hospital. more
28 August 2014

Youth volunteers in Iran show their selfies to promote role of young people

KERMAN, Iran – “Youth are the capital of Iran,” said Zahra Akbari, 27, at a UNFPA-supported training session for youth volunteers, held in in Kerman, Iran. The volunteers – all young women –  took part in UNFPA’s #showyourselfie campaign to promote the role of youth in development. more
19 August 2014

Highest-level of emergency declared in Iraq

UNITED NATIONS, New York – UN officials have declared the humanitarian crisis in Iraq a “Level 3 Emergency,” the highest-level emergency designation. Over a million people have been displaced by violence, and many more are at risk, with hostilities limiting access to essential services. UNFPA is working around the clock to support the needs of the displaced. more