Our Priorities: Humanitarian

Providing lifesaving care in emergencies

Our Humanitarian Programme provides a distinct model for sexual and reproductive health and rights in crises, connecting key elements of humanitarian action with long-term development. We are one of the world’s largest provider of sexual and reproductive healthcare in emergencies.

Women’s need for reproductive health care is not suspended in crises. One-quarter of people affected by crises are women and girls aged 15-49. One in five women are likely to be pregnant and one and five of all deliveries will experience complications. In crisis settings there is also a heightened risk of early marriage, rape and sexual violence, unsafe abortions and unattended births. Transmission rates of STIs, including HIV, increase in emergencies.

During crises we work closely with our clinics on the ground to deliver life-saving care to people in need. Our mobile health clinics provide on the spot services such as STI and HIV diagnosis and treatment, short and long-acting contraception, and emergency obstetric and neonatal care.

Crisis Settings

Increasing numbers of people face crises or live in chronically insecure settings. Humanitarian crises expose weaknesses in health systems, with particularly serious consequences for women, young people and marginalised groups.


IPPF focuses on meeting the needs of the underserved, in particular the needs of young people, women, and marginalized groups. These may include ethnic minorities, people on the move, refugees and stateless people as well as those of diverse sexual and gender identity, expression and sex characteristics, and persons living with disabilities.


IPPF currently has membership in over 170 countries. Our approach is to build on existing local partner capacity and skills and extend these services to crisis-affected populations. As the situation normalises after a crisis, we aim to leave behind stronger local partners.

Where we respond

“At the time of Cyclone Winston I was seven-months pregnant. It was already very hard trying to keep my other three children safe. I was alone with them because my husband went out hunting before the cyclone hit.”

Elenoa Male
Cyclone Winston, Fiji



Resilience in the face of devastation

In September 2017, Mexico suffered from a devastating magnitude 7.1 earthquake that left hundreds dead and injured, while crushing buildings and destroying infrastructure.

IPPF immediately activated our humanitarian response network which assessed damage, deployed personnel, and made sure our mobile clinics were able to operate and reach local communities with vital healthcare and services.

Mexfam, an IPPF member association in Mexico, continued to provide free healthcare during and after the record-breaking earthquakes, despite many members of staff losing their homes and even family members.

Watch Resilience in Mexico here


Life after Cyclone Idai

On the evening of 14 March 2019, Cyclone Idai made landfall in the city of Beira in central Mozambique. With wind speeds of 185 kilometers per hour, it was the largest cyclone on record to hit Africa. The impact was devastating, leading to the loss of life and extensive damage to infrastructure – not only in Mozambique, but in Malawi, Madagascar and Zimbabwe. The Associação Moçambicana para Desenvolvimento da Família (AMODEFA), IPPF’s Member Association in Mozambique, responded in the most affected areas of Mozambique with mobile sexual and reproductive healthcare. AMODEFA were able to reach 7,561 people with sexual and reproductive health services throughout their response.

Read more here


The most vulnerable Palestinian communities are those living in refugee camps in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

There are currently nearly 1.2 million Palestinians living in 19 refugee camps throughout the West Bank and 700,000 living in eight camps in the Gaza Strip. The refugee camps are characterised by poverty, high population density, cramped living conditions and inadequate basic infrastructure such as roads and sewers. High quality rights-based sexual and reproductive health services, particularly those related to family planning, are often overlooked and unavailable in the camps, especially for young people.

Our Member Association in Palestine, PFPPA, has pioneered CSE in Palestine since 2012, reaching youth in and out of schools. PFPPA trains government teachers and counsellors in coordination with the Ministry of Education and has developed a CSE manual in Arabic tailored to the local context and approved by the MoE for use by schools. PFPPA is recognized for delivery in remote and marginalized areas including refugee camps in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Read more about Maha, a GBV survivor and PFPPA beneficiary.