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State of World Population 2020

State of World Population Report

Every day, hundreds of thousands of girls around the world are subjected to practices that harm them physically or psychologically, or both, with the full knowledge and consent of their families, friends and communities.

The practices reduce and limit their capacity to participate fully in society and to reach their full potential. The impact ripples throughout society and reinforces the very gender stereotypes and inequalities that gave rise to the harm in the first place.

Three widespread harmful practices are female genital mutilation, child marriage and son preference.

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State of World Population Highlights 2020

Annual Report

Every day, hundreds of thousands of GIRLS around the world are harmed physically or psychologically, or both, with the full knowledge and consent of their families, friends and communities. The impact ripples throughout society, reinforcing gender stereotypes and inequalities. The scope of harmful practices is vast, but three in particular have been almost universally denounced as human rights violations yet remain stubbornly widespread: female genital mutilation, child marriage and son preference.
These practices cross borders and cultures. They vary in the specifics of their execution—a girl may have her genitals cut in infancy or adolescence, she may be married off to “protect” her from rape or as part of a trade, she may be erased before birth or
neglected to death after. But these practices are alike in origin; they are rooted in gender inequality and a desire to control female sexuality and reproduction. Though they inflict a devastating array of harms on individual women and girls, the harms inflicted on the world at large, and on future generations, may be greater still.

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UNFPA Regional Syria Crisis / COVID-19 Response: Overview of 2020 Funding Requirements

Situation Report

The crisis in Syria has been globally recognised as one of the worst humanitarian crises of our time. As of 2020, more than 11.7 million people inside Syria are in need, while close to 5.7 million have taken refuge in neighbouring countries throughout the region. Since 2011, UNFPA has been responding to the needs of Syrian women and girls, delivering an integrated package of sexual and reproductive health (SRH) and gender-based violence (GBV) services that meet the continually evolving needs on the ground.  

 

This funding overview provides a snapshot of UNFPA's needs during 2020, including those required to continue delivering life-saving SRH and GBV services as well as funds needed to support UNFPA's COVID-19 response within the context of the Syria crisis.

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Brussels IV Conference on Supporting the Future of Syria and the Region: Position Paper

Technical Reports and Document

Nearly ten years into the crisis, a variety of factors have placed women and girls at increased risks of GBV and in increased need of related services, including SRH. These include multiple displacements, negative coping mechanisms, change of gender roles within the families, growing tensions with host communities and the now worsening socio-economic situation. Meanwhile, evidence shows that the COVID-19 pandemic has further exacerbated the risks of GBV and increased the needs faced by women and girls and impacted their access to life-saving services.

 

In the lead-up to the Brussels IV conference on supporting Syria and the region, this position paper provides an overview of the evolution of programmes in Syria and the region, highlighting best practices and providing recommendations for the way forward.  

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COVID-19: How Can Risk Communication and Community Engagement (RCCE) Include Marginalized and Vulnerable People in the Eastern Mediterranean Region

Publication

Some segments of our societies, particularly women, internally- displaced people, migrants, refugees, the elderly and people with disability are among those who may experience the highest degree of marginalization. People who experience marginalization, particularly those
facing intersecting forms of discrimination across diverse factors - including gender, age, disability, migrant or refugee status, nationality, ethnicity, health conditions, geography and socioeconomic status - become even more vulnerable in emergencies.1 This is due to many factors such as their lack of access to effective surveillance and early-warning systems and health services. 

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Multi-sectoral Arab Strategy for Maternal, Child, and Adolescent Health 2019-2030

Publication

In spite of the decrease in maternal and child mortality ratios in the Arab region between 1990 and 2015 to levels below the global average (as the child mortality rate fell by 63% while maternal mortality ratio decreased by 56%), there are many challenges in the Arab region that still need more efforts and the presence of political and financial support, in order to achieve partnerships, cooperation, and knowledge sharing between Arab countries, in order to invest in enhancing the health of mothers, children, and adolescents, in higher rates, so as to achieve the SDGs.

Maternal and child health is considered a vital determinant that reflects the general health situation in societies and countries, not only as a measure of the health of mothers and children, but also as a measure of the maternal and child health within the context of the eight MDGs (2000-2015), that later on became among the targets of SDGs (2016-2030), in which goal 3 is concerned with health, and it became among the targets of the global strategy for maternal, child and adolescent health (Every Woman EveryChild 2016 -2030) which targets the reduction of maternal mortality ratio to less than 70 deaths per 100,000 live births. It also targets the decrease in child mortality rate of children under 5 years to less than 25 per 1000 live births, while decreasing newborn mortality rate to less than 12 per 1000 live births.
The Arab region shares with other regions in the world their concern for enhancing the health of mothers, children, and adolescents, as well as sharing the international commitments to achieve SDGs (2016-2030). The region also supports the global strategy on maternal, child, andadolescent health. This concern motivated Arab Health Ministers’ council’s decision number 3 issued during the ordinary session 45, held 2-3 March 2016 about “enhancing maternal, child, and adolescent health in the Arab region”, which stated in its third article on, inviting the concerned technical committee to develop a multi-sectoral Arab strategy for maternal, child, and adolescent health. The strategy shall have specific goals and targets. The committee will develop an Arab database in order to draw a health map with all relevant indicators. It will investigate the possibility of supporting Arab states with limited capacities in enacting and utilizing the strategic plan, in order to achieve the relevant SDGs 2030”.
There are some common challenges among the Arab states, standing in the way of fulfilling the health targets. These include the weakness and fragmentation of health systems; the low rate of accessibility to services, especially among the groups that need services the most; gaps
in the availability of healthcare workforce; the presence of gaps between states and within states in terms of health indicators; the inequalities in achieving targets; and the weak financial support available in low-capacity countries.

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REPORTING ON GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE DURING PUBLIC HEALTH CRISES

Publication

During a pandemic, lockdowns, curfews and other restrictions on movement are deemed necessary preventative health measures that can save millions of lives. For women and girls, they can also be sources of increased risk of violence and death.

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Ageing and COVID-19 in the Arab region: Leaving no one behind

Publication

Older persons are the most vulnerable to COVID-19 and therefore more likely to require hospitalization when infected. Ageing is commonly associated with morbidities such as hypertension and diabetes, making older people more susceptible to hospitalization and death. In resource-poor settings, limited health care facilities and the lack of ventilators and oxygen supply can significantly add to death rates among older persons with COVID-19. The COVID-19 mortality rate varies across regions and is determined by a range of factors. Of these, the most notable are: demographic profile, population age structure, number of persons tested and cases detected, health system capacity, accuracy of reporting of COVID-19 deaths, plus compliance in implementing WHO guidance for prevention against transmission
of the disease (e.g. physical distancing,isolation of infected people and frequent sanitizing).

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COVID-19 Situation Report No. 4 for UNFPA Arab States

Situation Report

Regional Highlight: All  countries  in  the  region  have  now  confirmed  COVID-19 cases  with  a  consistent  increase  in  infection  cases  and deaths including in some of the most fragile countries in the region such as Yemen, Somalia, Syria and Libya. People’s resilience  is  weakened,  and  while  even  developed  public health  systems  struggle  to  cope,  the  most  fragile  health systems are ill-equipped for the COVID-19 response.

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Impact of Public Health Emergencies on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Reproductive Rights in the Arab Region

Publication

In the last decade the world has experienced many public health emergencies, similar to the current novel COVID19 pandemic (e.g. Ebola, MERS, Cholera, Polio and Zika epidemics). Demand on health care services continued during health emergencies including general health care such as Non-Communicable Diseases (NCDs), mental health services, immunization programs, as well as SRH services such as family planning (FP) and maternal health (MH)1,2. Although often overlooked, SRH is essential for sustainable development and women’s empowerment3. SRH is a basic human right, which has been captured in many international agreements such as the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPDPoA), the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), especially goal 3 on health and goal 5 on gender equality, as well as the commitments made during the World Humanitarian Summit (2016), to name a few. While these international conventions and treaties have been ratified by almost all countries and have called for giving more importance to reproductive health during crises, SRH is still not well prioritized at the level of other needs such as food, water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), or shelter.

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