Press Releases

    POP/937
    1 December 2005

    UN Population Fund Calls on International Donor Community to Increase Assistance for Women in Conflict

    Agency Joins Others in Seeking Funding for Emergency Relief Efforts

    NEW YORK, 30 November (UNFPA) -- The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), today called on the international donor community to help meet urgent reproductive health needs of victims of conflict and natural disasters around the world.  To address those needs, the Fund is asking donors for approximately $18 million to support relief efforts in countries in humanitarian crises.

    The UNFPA's call was contained in the "Humanitarian Appeal 2006" launched by United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan here today.  The Humanitarian Appeal is the result of the Consolidated Appeals Process (CAP), the international community's most important tool for raising resources for humanitarian action.  The UNFPA is one of the CAP participating agencies.

    In times of upheaval, noted the UNFPA, pregnancy-related deaths and gender-based violence become more prevalent.  Reproductive health services become unavailable, and young people become more vulnerable to HIV infection and sexual exploitation.  Many women lose access to family-planning services and become exposed to unwanted pregnancies.  In addition, women and girls are the ones who usually become responsible for their families.

    "I am glad that the international community is starting to give a higher priority to the needs of women and girls in crises, as we have recently seen in the responses to the Asian tsunami and the Pakistan earthquake", said the UNFPA Executive Director Thoraya Ahmed Obaid.  "However, more should be done for women and girls who carry most of the burden of any crisis that hits their community, as helping them would go a long way in helping put the life of that community back on track."

    To address immediate needs, the UNFPA conducts rapid assessments and deploys supplies and equipment to promote safe delivery, safe blood supply, and protection against HIV.  The Fund also coordinates with partners to deliver basic services, including treatment for victims of sexual violence, and helps rehabilitate health facilities once the situation stabilizes.

    The UNFPA's CAP projects and joint projects it has with other United Nations agencies in the Humanitarian Appeal total $24,300,000.  The funds are needed to support humanitarian efforts in Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, the Great Lakes region, Guinea, Liberia, Nepal, the occupied Palestinian territory, Congo, Somalia, Uganda, Zimbabwe, and West Africa.  The UNFPA is also participating in most Flash Appeals.

    Funds requested by the UNFPA will address the specific urgent needs of each of these countries and regions.  That includes the provision of basic reproductive health, including safe pregnancy and delivery, sexually transmitted infections and HIV prevention and care, and the treatment of victims of sexual violence.  The funds will also help the UNFPA address gender-based violence and the special needs of adolescents.

    The Consolidated Appeal Process is designed to coordinate the international community's humanitarian assistance and allow national, regional and international relief systems to mobilize and respond to complex emergencies.

    More information on the UNFPA's participation in the CAP 2006 can be found at:  http://www.unfpa.org/emergencies/docs/cap2006_brochure.doc

    The 2006 Inter-Agency Consolidated Appeals can be found at:  http://ochaonline.un.org/cap2005/index.htm

    Contact Information:  Omar Gharzeddine, tel.:  +1 212-297-5028, email:  gharzeddine@unfpa.org ; or Abubakar Dungus, tel.:  +1 212-297-5031, email:  dungus@unfpa.org

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