Around the world, COVID-19 is having an unprecedented impact on health systems and economic systems. Evidence indicates that the poorest and most vulnerable communities are disproportionately affected, particularly women and girls.
In 2020, IPPF’s service delivery points have experienced major impacts on their capacity to provide contraception, safe abortion and CSE services due to lockdowns, restrictions and social distancing measures put in place by governments to contain the spread of the virus.
There is a shortage of resources available, including personal protective equipment and reproductive health commodities. Women and girls are facing the greatest toll from the lockdowns and restrictions, with increases in sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), spikes in unintended pregnancy, and increases in unsafe abortion all expected.
Thanks to crisis funding support from Global Affairs Canada, IPPF will partner with Marie Stopes International and RNW Media to collaboratively address the challenges posed by this pandemic on the sexual and reproductive health and rights of women and girls in countries significantly affected by COVID-19. The project partnership will focus on increasing access to sexual and reproductive health information and services for the most vulnerable.
Priorities activities to be delivered by IPPF include:
- Ensuring hardest hit frontline services can stay open and continue to provide comprehensive sexual and reproductive health care to women and girls. IPPF will build the resilience of its members through robust support from IPPF’s COVID-19 Taskforce. Emergency relief funding will be provided to IPPF’s most affected members. IPPF will identify and address gaps in supply chains to ensure members have sufficient stocks of essential commodities and infection prevention equipment.
- Increasing access to information and services for women and girls through digital platforms. IPPF will collaborate with RNW Media in priority countries to connect women and girls to services through new SMS applications and social media platforms and strengthen existing online platforms as resources of information. In order to reach individuals unable to access a physical service delivery point, innovative service delivery mechanisms will also be rolled out including remote counselling and telemedicine.
Dr Alvaro Bermejo, IPPF Director General said:
“We are extremely grateful that Global Affairs Canada (GAC) has recognised the scale of the impact of COVID-19 on the lives of so many women and girls through this new crisis funding.
Our ability as a Federation to deliver sexual and reproductive healthcare is under enormous strain, but our members are doing everything they can to continue to reach the clients we serve and adapt their vital work in response to this emergency.
Through this new partnership with GAC we will be able to step-up the safe delivery of frontline services during this pandemic and also invest more in new ways of reaching those in desperate need of care.”
For more information, please contact [email protected]