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

31 October 2014

When the fear follows: Women's centres help Syrian refugees cope

DEIR ALLA, Jordan – “All I know is that I needed help badly,” said Reem,* a 22-year-old mother of three. She is one of some 619,000 Syrian refugees who have been forced to cross the border into Jordan. Struggling to adjust to life far from home, she has received psychosocial support from a women’s centre in Deir Alla, Jordan, supported by UNFPA and the Institute for Family Health. more
28 October 2014

Dignity kits meet hygiene needs of displaced women and girls in Iraq

DUHOK, Iraq – In crisis situations, the needs for shelter, food and security are rightly given urgent attention. Yet the specific needs of women and girls are too often overlooked. Some 1.8 million people are internally displaced in Iraq, and a total of 5.2 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance. Among them, women and girls have heightened needs – including a heightened need for protection from gender-based violence and special health and hygiene needs. more
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