A matter of life and death: IPPF's humanitarian response

4th February 2016
mother and child

Today, the Danish Family Planning Association (DFPA) together with the Danish All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights, and the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs convened a conference with the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) on the challenges of sexual and reproductive health and  rights (SRHR) in humanitarian crises. HRH the Crown Princess of Denmark and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) were also in attendance.

More than 100 million people are in need of humanitarian assistance. It is estimated that 26 million are women and adolescent girls of reproductive age of which 500 die every day from complications related to  pregnancy and childbirths. For example, the Syrian civil war has resulted in a 39% rise in maternal mortality since 2010 and gender-based violence is affecting at least 7 out of 10 women in some crisis settings. This shows a great need for humanitarian actors to ensure that the human rights of women and girls are protected and able to access sexual and reproductive healthcare.

IPPF: saving lives in crises

Right now more than 250,000 women and girls need help. IPPF provides the emergency response needed, like family planning, which can reduce maternal deaths by 33%. SEXUAL & REPRODUCTIVE HEALTH SERVICES SAVES LIVES. AND IS A HUMAN RIGHT.

Posted by IPPF on Thursday, 4 February 2016

The increasing number of humanitarian crises calls for serious rethinking of the current humanitarian response.

The status of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) violations in humanitarian crises must be confronted and prevented.

Over the past decade, IPPF has reached millions of people during floods, conflicts, earthquakes, cyclones when health care often collapsed, IPPF Member Associations continued to serve the unreachable particularly women which make three quarters of IPPF clients.

We have an organizational strategy to address sexual and reproductive needs before, during and after humanitarian crises. 

IPPF starts with its Minimum Initial Service Package, which is life-saving, and transition to its Integrated Package of Essential services, which is life-changing. This ensure that a sxual and reproductive health situation is better after the crisis than before.

Director general, Tewodros Melesse said, "Access to these services,especially in the midst of war or natural disaster, is a human right which does not only saves lives in the short run, but also helps build resilience amongst refugees and displaced people. It’s one of the most important aspects of humanitarian assistance that is often forgotten when disaster and conflicts strike."