UNFPA in the Arab Region: Responding to Humanitarian Emergencies

No. of pages: 20

Publication date: 7 November 2016

Author: UNFPA

Publisher: UNFPA

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Even under normal conditions, reproductive health issues are a leading cause of death and illness among women of childbearing age. But when a crisis strikes, skilled birth attendance and emergency obstetric care often become unavailable, exacerbating the vulnerability of pregnant women. Moreover, during conflicts, natural disasters and other emergencies, plans for a humanitarian response can easily lack adequate services for the immense sexual and reproductive health (SRH) needs among any affected population. Women face other threats as well. The absence of health services and other factors can increase the risks of contracting HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. And the breakdown of protection systems often leads to a rise in gender-based violence (GBV). In addition, the burden of care women assume for children and others can make it difficult for them to take proper care of themselves. Women may neglect their own needs as they care for their families and neighbours.