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

20 October 2014

Pregnant in the shadow of Ebola: Deteriorating health systems endanger women

MONROVIA, Liberia – Thirty-six year old Comfort Fayiah, in Monrovia, Liberia, never imagined her pregnancy would end the way it did – with her giving birth on the side of the road, in a heavy downpour, to twins. Throughout the three countries worst affected by the Ebola crisis, many women are refusing to seek care from health centres, and some overwhelmed, undersupplied health facilities are turning away those who arrive. more
14 October 2014

Sierra Leone's contact tracers work to curtail Ebola outbreak

KAILAHUN/NEW YORK – As Ebola infections continue to escalate at an alarming rate in West Africa, UNFPA-trained contact tracers in Sierra Leone are playing a vital role in mitigating the public health crisis. Rapid identification, isolation and care by health workers using strict infection control measures could curtail the outbreak. more
13 October 2014

Displaced Iraqi women, youth receive psychosocial support

DUHOK, Iraq – Sixteen-year-old Nada* was already struggling to care for her family when her community was attacked by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS). She is among the 1.8 million Iraqis displaced since the beginning of the year. Ensuring the dignity and protection of affected women and young people remains a priority for UNFPA, which is supporting a variety of services, including psychosocial support, for those affected. more