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Unmet need for contraceptives quadruples in parts of earthquake-affected Türkiye

The unmet need for contraceptives is estimated to have soared to nearly 50% in some parts of Turkiye, including Hatay province, following the earthquakes on 6 February 2023.

The unmet need for contraceptives is estimated to have soared to nearly 50% in some parts of Turkiye, including Hatay province, following the earthquakes on 6 February 2023. This is a worrying trend, as the unmet need had already been on the rise from 6% in 2013 to 12% in 2018 in Turkiye

The Association of Public Health Specialists (HASUDER), IPPF’s local partner in Türkiye, is the only provider of contraception in some camps for internally-displaced persons (IDPs) following the devastating 7.8 and 7.6 earthquakes that killed more than 50,000 people in Turkey and displaced millions.

Professor Bülent Kılıç, head of HASUDER, said that while government services are mandated to deliver contraceptive supplies to health clinics inside IDP camps, services have generally focused on pregnancy and birth services. He said: ”Physicians who provide contraceptive methods, including inserting intrauterine devices (IUDs) are rare or fully absent. There is no awareness about this service gap.” Kılıç also describes serious hygiene problems for women in the camps, where basic needs such as clean toilets and bathrooms are not being met.

Kılıç continued: “We have seen that contraceptive services are only provided in gynaecology clinics in hospitals, and even then it is offered very little and only if requested. This issue is related to the government's perspective on women and women's rights.”

HASUDER’s reproductive health unit, which was established with support from IPPF and Hatay Municipality in Lions and Mersin Municipality Tent City in Hatay, has been providing sexual and reproductive health services to 3,000 people since March 2023. These services include maternal and neonatal care, contraceptive care, safe abortion care, and counselling for sexual and gender-based violence. HASUDER is providing contraceptive methods including intrauterine devices, oral contraceptives and condoms, but reports that underwear, sanitary pads, birth control pills, emergency contraception pills and condoms are still among the most needed items for women.

HASUDER has also reported a rise in unplanned pregnancies due to the dearth of contraceptives available. Violence against women and girls - already a serious issue in Turkey - is exacerbated in every humanitarian emergency, and persists in the IDP camps.

IPPF estimates that 3.9 million women of reproductive age, over 175,000 pregnant women, and more than 1.2 million adolescent girls (aged 10-19) were affected by the earthquakes in Türkiye. We anticipate more than 8,700 currently pregnant women will experience delivery complications.

For media enquiries, please contact [email protected] or

Nerida Williams, Senior Humanitarian Communications Advisor, [email protected] 

About the International Planned Parenthood Federation

The International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) is a global service provider and advocate of sexual and reproductive health and rights for all. 

For 70 years, IPPF, through its 118 Member Associations and seven partners, has delivered high-quality sexual and reproductive healthcare and helped advance sexual rights, especially for people with intersectional and diverse needs that are currently unmet. Our Member Associations and partners are independent organisations that are locally owned, which means the support and care they provide is informed by local expertise and context.

We advocate for a world where people have the information they need to make informed decisions about their sexual health and bodies. We stand up and fight for sexual and reproductive rights and against those who seek to deny people their human right to bodily autonomy and freedom. We deliver care that is rooted in rights, respect, and dignity - no matter what.






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