Sana’a, 25 June 2020 – UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, welcomes the contribution of US$2.6 million from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to provide emergency reproductive health services in western coastal areas of Yemen. The ongoing conflict has left over six million women of childbearing age in need of reproductive health support across the country.
The funding comes at a critical time as the health system, particularly for reproductive health, is on the verge of collapse following the rapid spread of COVID19, with far reaching consequences on women and girls. Nearly half of health facilities are not functioning or only partially functioning. Only 20 per cent functioning health facilities provide maternal and child health services due to staff shortages, lack of supplies, inability to meet operational costs or damaged due to conflict.
This funding enables UNFPA to improve access to emergency reproductive health services for women and girls in western coastal areas, including those in hard-to reach parts of south Yemen, with support to 15 health facilities and 50 community midwives. This support will reach more than 150,000 women and girls in the next 12 months; enabling pregnant women with complications to deliver safely and reducing the distance they have to travel in search of reproductive health services, while enhancing the quality of services provided. “Pregnant women in remote and conflict-affected areas of Yemen often have to travel over five or six hours, risking their life and that of their unborn children because reproductive health services or midwives are not readily available close to where they live,” stated Nestor Owomuhangi, UNFPA’s Acting Representative to Yemen. We are extremely thankful to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for recognizing this need and supporting UNFPA to improve access and availability to reproductive health services in areas where needs are most severe,” Owomuhangi emphasized.
UNFPA is the sole provider of lifesaving reproductive health supplies in Yemen and leads coordination and provision of women’s protection services across the country.
To keep reaching the most vulnerable women and girls, UNFPA requires US$100.5 million in 2020. To date, only $52 per cent of funding has been received.
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