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.

Inclusivity

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 with disabilities.

Localisation

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

“Conflict and fragile settings now face a double crisis. First, there is the real effects and threat of COVID-19 on already stretched and under resourced settings.”

 

Fiji

IPPF's Humanitarian response to Tropical Cyclone Yasa

Severe Tropical Cyclone (TC) Yasa, which made landfall in Fiji just before Christmas 2020, was the strongest in the South Pacific since TC Winston in 2016.

The Reproductive and Family Health Association of Fiji (RFHAF) humanitarian response to TC Yasa has reached some of the most difficult and geographically scattered islands and communities, which included the islands of Moala, Totoya, and Matuku.

Read more about Sera’s experience being deployed to the response in Fiji here.

The Climate Crisis

How the climate crisis is affecting sexual and reproductive healthcare in the Pacific

The climate crisis is one of the key challenges of this time. As a major healthcare provider and advocate of sexual and reproductive health and rights, IPPF is committed to supporting communities to adapt to the effects of the climate crisis. The impacts on SRHR can include reduced or unavailable SRHR services in areas affected by disasters, changes in women’s family planning decisions due to uncertain futures, and increased incidence of sexual and gender based violence.

Check out our photo essay ‘Healthcare in the face of the climate crisis in Kiribati’ here, and an interview with one of our staff on the frontline in the Pacific island nation of Kiribati here.

Palestine

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.