The Responding with Essential SRHR Provision and New Delivery mechanisms (RESPOND) project aims to restore services, particularly to marginalized populations such as young people, people living in poverty, and people with disabilities, which have been impacted by COVID-19.
This two-year project is being implemented jointly by IPPF and Marie Stopes International across 22 countries in the Asia Pacific region, funded by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. IPPF is supporting Member Associations to implement RESPOND-funded activities in Cambodia, Laos, Indonesia, Philippines, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Maldives, Papua New Guinea, and the Pacific Islands.
The ultimate outcome of the RESPOND project is to ensure populations affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in the Asia Pacific region have enhanced SRHR.
Case study: Serving Afghan refugees in Pakistan
UNHCR recorded approximately 1.4 million Afghan refugees in Pakistan in 2021, with 30,000 arriving in August alone as the Taliban took control in Afghanistan. The Pakistani government's capacity to respond to this humanitarian crisis remains limited given the scale of need. Living conditions in many camps are poor, with overcrowding a major challenge. Pervasive gender inequality and a de-prioritisation of sexual and reproductive health (SRH) care mean that women and girls are particularly vulnerable, and at heightened risk of illness and death from preventable causes including unsafe abortions and maternal complications.
With support from the Australian government, IPPF is addressing SRH needs through the RESPOND program. This program, running across 19 countries where IPPF has a presence, aims to serve 13,440 Afghan refugees in Pakistan over two years (2021-2023).