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 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

“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.”


Papua New Guinea

Reaching out to remote communities with access to essential sexual and reproductive healthcare

The COVID-19 pandemic has put many vulnerable communities in Papua New Guinea further isolated from essential access to sexual and reproductive healthcare (SRH). Stay-at-home orders in place, lack of public transport services, and fear of being infected in public health facilities have deterred many women and girls from accessing care and credible information on SRH.

Papua New Guinea Family Health Association (PNGFHA) mobile clinics with local aid workers have travelled to some of the most remote villages to deliver lifesaving SRH services since March 2020.

Read more about the COVID-19 humanitarian response in Papua New Guinea 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.


IPPF’s humanitarian response to the crisis in Gaza .

Over 75,000 people were displaced, and 253 killed including 66 children and 39 women, following the 11-day Israeli airstrike in Gaza in May 2021. The attacks caused severe damage to Gaza’s infrastructure, destroying residential and commercial buildings including public hospitals adding a further strain to Gaza’s fragile health sector. 29,000 women are expected to give birth within three months and require urgent care. 

Our Member Association in Palestine, The Palestinian Family Planning and Protection Association (PFPPA) are offering door-to-door sexual and reproductive healthcare services, targeting 2,400 women of reproductive age. Providing vital emergency healthcare services during the COVID-19 pandemic has proved challenging. The PFPPA have taken careful measures to ensure regular covid testing and PPE protection is accessible for the mobile team and beneficiaries.