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Arab World

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プロジェクト開始式の様子

Palestine set to receive $600,000 from Japan to support human security and sexual and reproductive healthcare

On 8 June 2022 in Ramallah, Palestine, there was the inauguration of the project “Improving Human Security in Palestine Through Life-saving Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) Services for People Most in Need," funded by the Government of Japan and implemented by the Palestinian Family Planning and Protection Association, which is IPPF’s Member Association in Palestine.  Recent studies indicate an increase in the number of cases of gender-based violence in Palestine, which requires rapid and timely interventions in terms of psychological and social support, medical services, women and child health services, and sexual and reproductive health services for survivors. This project will seek to address these unmet needs, by providing quality clinic-based SRHR services for women, youth and vulnerable communities in Gaza and the West Bank. It will also expand access to high-quality, life-saving sexual and reproductive health services to communities.  Mr. Masayuki Magoshi, Ambassador of Japan for Palestinian Affairs, said, “We believe that having to living in fear of violence and sexual abuse are core issues of universal human rights. Peace in the region will never be attainable or sustainable in the long term if we do not apply a gender lens to issues. This project is significant in terms of Japan’s continuous commitment toward Palestinian people, especially women. I would like to reaffirm our commitments in line with international solidarity to Palestine, to ensure the implementation of the targets for the 2030 Agenda on maternal, newborn and maternal health in emergencies and ensuring that women have access to comprehensive health care.”  Dr. Amal Hamad, the Palestinian Minister of Women Affairs, said, “the health sector plays a major role in providing comprehensive primary health care to all members of the society, especially services which are directed to women. We are committed to the SDGs especially SDG 3 and SDG 5 in particular and we will keep working to promote for them.” Mr. Sami Natsheh, the Board of Directors President for the Palestinian Family Planning and Protection Association, said, “The project aims at enabling vulnerable and underserved Palestinian women and girls living in difficult humanitarian environments to access and promote sexual and reproductive health services and rights, including services to reduce and combat sexual and gender-based violence by increasing the provision of high quality sexual and reproductive health services.” Dr Fadoua Bakhadda, Regional Director, IPPF Arab World Regional Office, said, ”This project is like a life jacket for women in Palestine, especially those in protracted crisis areas. This funding will ensure the continued provision of essential sexual and reproductive health services, including safe delivery, pregnancy care, family planning, HIV and disease prevention, sexually transmitted infections and their treatment, quality post abortion care, and psychosocial support for survivors of gender-based violence”. Palestinian Family Planning and Protection Association (PFPPA): Established in Jerusalem in 1964, the PFPPA is an independent, non-profit and non-governmental organization registered locally and IPPF’s Member Association in Palestine. PFPPA has service delivery points, located in the West Bank Areas of Ramallah, Bethlehem, Hebron and Halhoul, in addition to one in the Gaza Strip. In cooperation with local partners PFPPA is also responsible for 4 safe spaces to provide Gender Based Violence (GBV) related services in the Jerusalem area. PFPPA is focuses specifically to provide people with diverse options of SRHR services and is the only organization (GO or NGO) that provides contraceptive implants as a FP method. PFPPA is pioneer in the Harm Reduction module for the provision of Abortion Related Services and has provided Technical Assistance and shared their experience on this module with other local like minded organizations in addition to other IPPF Member Association’s as well. International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) Arab World Office: IPPF is a global healthcare provider and a leading advocate of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) for all. Led by a courageous and determined group of women, IPPF was founded in 1952. Today, we are a movement of over 120 autonomous member associations and 23 collaborative partners with a presence in 146 countries. Established in 1971 the IPPF Arab World Region (IPPF AWR) is one of IPPF’s six regional offices. Based in Tunis, it is the leading Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) service delivery organization in the North Africa and the Middle East, and the leading Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) advocacy voice in the region. For further information, or to arrange an interview with PFPPA’s Executive Director, Ms. Ammal Awadallah, please contact Ms. Abeer Dahbour, Communications Officer, PFPPA at [email protected]

Gaza, Palestine/IPPF Humanitarian/Samar Abu Elouf

Government of Japan, through its support for IPPF, will provide life-saving health care services to the most vulnerable populations in Palestine

With support from the Government of Japan, the IPPF Member Association in Palestine (PFPPA) is launching a new project in Palestine targeting the most vulnerable populations that have been severely affected by the humanitarian crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic. It is estimated that at least 1.45 million people in Palestine are in need of healthcare-related humanitarian assistance. The escalation of the conflict in Gaza in May 2021, in addition to the long-standing severe restrictions on movement and inadequate healthcare systems, have resulted in the loss of many lives, the destruction of the healthcare system, and negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Together these have increased poverty levels and strained the healthcare system resulting in increased humanitarian and medical assistance needs. In 2022, it is estimated that 63% of the population living in Gaza and 23% in the West Bank will continue to need humanitarian assistance. The vulnerability of women and girls in particular is even greater, with serious and sometimes life-threatening health consequences. In this context, PFPPA will reach vulnerable and hard-to-reach populations (especially women and girls) with sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) services, including sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) related services. This will focus on five locations: Gaza, Hebron, Halhoul, Bethlehem and Ramallah. By the end of February 2023, PFPPA aims to: Deliver quality SRHR and SGBV-related services to approximately 36,000 women and young people through PFPPA clinics in the 5 project target areas. Deliver a Minimum Initial Service Package for reproductive health in crisis situation (MISP: sexual and gender-based violence response, HIV and sexually transmitted disease prevention and treatment, emergency obstetric newborn care, family planning, comprehensive abortion care, etc.) to 4,800 people through mobile clinics in project target areas in Gaza and the West Bank.  Deliver prenatal and postpartum door-to-door services to 160 women, including counselling and services to promote healthy pregnancies and prepare women for childbirth.  Deliver "birth preparedness" services to 30 women and distribute kits consisting of basic supplies for pre- and postpartum preparation, including essential newborn care. Deliver SRH and SGBV services to 2,000 women and girls through mobile apps and telecommunication projects. H.E. Hajime Hayashi, Ambassador of Japan to the United Kingdom, said: “We are delighted to be working with the IPPF to improve the health of women in Palestine, who are increasingly vulnerable to the humanitarian crisis and the impact of the new coronavirus outbreak. This effort will not only contribute to the realization of Japan's emphasis on Universal Health Coverage (UHC), but will also have a direct effect on human security.” Dr Alvaro Bermejo, Executive Director of IPPF, said: “With the support of the Japanese government, IPPF will be able to provide health and life-saving services to vulnerable women in Palestine. We are very grateful for the opportunity to work with the Japanese government to stand with those affected by the conflict and the COVID-19 to ensure that no one is left behind.” Ms Ammal Awadallah, Executive Director of PFPPA, said: “PFPPA is committed to ensuring that all services provided by their team to the population, regardless of each individual's circumstances, are of high quality and are provided securely, with dignity and respect, protecting all those involved from any form of harm. Furthermore, through the generous support of the Japanese government, for which we are greatly appreciative, PFPPA will be able to deliver essential services related to Sexual Reproductive Health Rights (including SGBV) to those living in marginalized and remote areas most in need of such services.” International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF):  Founded in 1952 in Bombay, India, IPPF’s founding members included Madam Shizue Kato, one of Japan's first female parliamentarians and the leader of the family planning movement. Today, IPPF is one of the world's largest international NGOs working to defend sexual and reproductive health and rights and to deliver SRH services and information to all people (especially vulnerable people) through its grassroots network of 120 Member Associations and Collaborative Partners working in 140 countries including Palestine around the world. Contact: Yuri Taniguchi, Chief Strategic Partnerships and Development Advisor (S.E.Asia), International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) London Office 

FPAP staff conducts an Awareness Raising Session on Reproductive Health
11 March 2022

Responding with Essential SRHR Provision and New Delivery (RESPOND)

The Responding with Essential SRHR Provision and New Delivery mechanisms (RESPOND) project aims to restore services, particularly to marginalized populations such as young people, people living in poverty, and people with disabilities, which have been impacted by COVID-19. This two-year project is being implemented jointly by IPPF and Marie Stopes International across 22 countries in the Asia Pacific region, funded by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. IPPF is supporting Member Associations to implement RESPOND-funded activities in Cambodia, Laos, Indonesia, Philippines, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Maldives, Papua New Guinea, and the Pacific Islands. The ultimate outcome of the RESPOND project is to ensure populations affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in the Asia Pacific region have enhanced SRHR. Case study: Serving Afghan refugees in Pakistan UNHCR recorded approximately 1.4 million Afghan refugees in Pakistan in 2021, with 30,000 arriving in August alone as the Taliban took control in Afghanistan. The Pakistani government's capacity to respond to this humanitarian crisis remains limited given the scale of need. Living conditions in many camps are poor, with overcrowding a major challenge. Pervasive gender inequality and a de-prioritisation of sexual and reproductive health (SRH) care mean that women and girls are particularly vulnerable, and at heightened risk of illness and death from preventable causes including unsafe abortions and maternal complications. With support from the Australian government, IPPF is addressing SRH needs through the RESPOND program. This program, running across 19 countries where IPPF has a presence, aims to serve 13,440 Afghan refugees in Pakistan over two years (2021-2023). 

Dr Rania
07 March 2022

Podcast: Dr. Rania on the frontlines of delivering global humanitarian responses

IPPF · Podcast: Dr. Rania on the frontlines of delivering global humanitarian responses “I recall the first humanitarian crisis that I was part of was in 1988, flooding in Sudan,” said Dr. Rania Abdalla Abu Elhassan, IPPF’s Regional Humanitarian Advisor for the Arab World and Africa Regions. “I was still very young, I was wondering how those tents had arrived, how this food is distributed... my understanding of disasters was very fragile. But that really opened my eyes.”  With lived experience of humanitarian crises, Dr. Rania offers an important perspective in her work as a medical doctor and a frontline humanitarian responder. Over her 20-year career as an obstetrician and gynecologist in Sudan and with national and international NGOs, she has provided lifesaving sexual and reproductive health care to women and girls in emergencies around the world.   For this year’s International Women’s Day, Dr. Rania spoke about how she got involved in humanitarian work, the barriers and opportunities facing women in the sector, and what she will do her new role at IPPF to ensure sexual and reproductive health needs are not overlooked amid growing global humanitarian needs.   “There is always a counter argument when it comes to women’s sexual and reproductive health in male dominated communities,” she said. “It is a very shaky idea for the dominance of the male figure. But we are not arguing from a religious perspective. We are speaking about facts. We want to make it safer and easier for women [to access their sexual and reproductive health] because we don't want to lose those women.”  With a master's degree in public health, as well as diplomas in humanitarian assistance and in gender advocacy, Dr. Rania applies a holistic approach to her work. Still, she has faced numerous barriers as a woman in the humanitarian sector, and she says that more needs to be done to ensure gender equity at all levels of humanitarian response.   “There is an unspoken consensus in some humanitarian organizations that females cannot perform like males,” she said. “I have been working with all male medical doctors in a warzone, and their assumption is that this is a warzone... This is a man’s place, it's not a woman place. But we must prepare for gender balance and gender parity prior to the crisis. Because if something was not existing before the crisis, you cannot implement it after a crisis.”   Hear more from Dr. Rania in this podcast.

A woman smiles during a youth session
13 January 2022

Pakistan: Reaching young people with sexual health services

An estimated 64% of Pakistan’s population is under the age of 30, and the country now has more young people than it has in its history. In light of this, it is important that policies are in place that can effectively respond to the needs of Pakistani youth.  While government policies are increasingly considering youth but in areas such as sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), policies remain virtually non-existent. The sexual reproductive health of young people continues to be a taboo due to existing and widely entrenched cultural, social, and religious belief that young people – particularly those who are unmarried – have no need for SRHR information and services. Multi-approach techniques for youth Young people not only need access to comprehensive SRHR information but also services that cater to their needs. Through the WISH program*, IPPF’s Member Association R-FPAP has implemented many different approaches to reach young people with SRHR information and services. Through these approaches the programme was able to reach 8.3% of youth (of the total clients served) between January 2019 and August 2021, increasing from 2.5% in the first quarter of the programme, reaching a high of 10.2% in the second to last quarter (+7.7%).  Further, there was a 203% increase in total SRHR services provided to youth under 20 between 2018 (pre-WISH) and 2021. 

Ammal Awadallah, ED, Palestine Family Planning and Protection Association (PFPPA)
05 January 2022

Women in Leadership: Ammal Awadallah, Palestine

Ammal Awadallah began her career as a finance and administrative director for the Palestine Family Planning and Protection Association (PFPPA), a position she held for 12 years. During that time her passion in women’s rights and sexual and reproductive healthcare continued to grow, and in 2019, she took on the role of PFPPA’s Executive Director. As part of our Women in Leadership series, IPPF spoke to Ammal about leading an organization through emergency responses, pushing for change, and empowering women.  Growing up in Palestine what was your experience of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), did you receive sex education?  Although I do not recall specifically, I think it would have to have been sometime in my early teens. Although that was quite a while back, I went to a Quakers school in Palestine, and I do recall a visit from a health worker to our classroom to explain to us about family planning methods and protected sex.   What led to your interest in sexual and reproductive health?  I was always a strong supporter of women’s rights; however, it was not until I began working with PFPPA that I actually became specifically aware and developed an in-depth interest in SRHR.   Noting that although I joined the PFPPA team as a Financial Director, it was clear from the start that my role would be more than just that. I was passionate of what we were working towards, and the more information I gained the more passionate I became, I felt that what I was working towards was reflecting what I truly believe in. I found a way to support a joint goal with colleagues, not only locally and nationally but also globally through the IPPF.  How would you describe your role as Executive Director (ED) of PFPPA?  Responsibility, leadership, management, supervising, delegating, following up, monitoring, evaluating, responsibility, transparency, accountability.  How did you incorporate all these leadership skills in the recent emergency response following the airstrikes in Gaza?  Being a leader, and as the ED, I think it was truly one of my main responsibilities to be accountable both to the community (the people in Gaza) and to the donor providing the money.   We got in contact with our service providers that were living in the zone - some of them had their homes effected during the attacks on Gaza - and we were asking them what the best and safest way is to deal with it and what is best for everyone. Together we agreed on the best approach to provide sexual and reproductive services. This was a joint venture; I know what’s happening in the field from the service providers, and that they are the real heroes and I have a huge responsibility to my team. We try to be as transparent and accountable as possible.  For us as an association, working since 1964, we have been providing services within a protracted humanitarian crisis setting for decades. This has made us stronger and increased our commitment to ensure continuity to provide essential services regardless of the difficulties we encounter.    What challenges have you faced leading SRHR services in humanitarian emergencies during the COVID-19 pandemic?  Although they are numerous, the one that was extremely challenging was ensuring that our regular clients were being followed up, particularly those that were adopting methods such as condoms, pills or injections as family planning methods and feared that they would not be able to obtain these methods during the lockdowns and would result in unwanted pregnancies.   However, it was the prompt response and experience of the team in facing lockdowns imposed by the Occupational Forces in previous years that allowed them to come up with approaches to reach women in their homes directly, to lessen the chances of unwanted pregnancies occurring.   In addition, it was also a challenge to ensure that women could get in contact with our team to at least receive counselling and consultation. However, this was also quickly dealt with by utilizing social media channels to disseminate contact phone numbers of doctors, midwives, social workers, psychologists, and even lawyers. Furthermore, before a month of lockdowns passed, a free hotline was established, and a social worker was taking calls and also referring cases to the service providers mentioned earlier or to other partner associations for further assistance.   What changes have you seen in Palestine over the years when it comes to sexual health and rights?  Youth are becoming more encouraged and empowered in addressing SRHR issues. They are more outspoken, more aware and have the ability to be significant leaders and agents of change.   What areas are still taboo in Palestine, and how do you push for change?  Speaking about women's rights in its full extent - women's bodily autonomy. The way we push for change is always based on respect for the opinion of others and our country context.   We try to address the topics from a scientific evidence-based approach, highlighting the positive experiences of other countries when change was made. We approach the general public in order to provide them with information and empowerment to make well informed decisions. At the same time, we work to advocate for change with decision makers.  Noting, as an Association, we are always respectful of others' opinions and work in alignment with out country's context and culture.  Can you see yourself doing anything other than what you are doing right now?  No, I don’t think so! I’ve never really thought about it. I believe in the work of NGOs, and I believe NGOSs do make an impact on the lives of people within the community. So, I feel like my work gives back. I’ve had a good life and so I feel like I should give back to my community that deserves it. So, I can’t think of ever working with anything that doesn’t involve giving back to my community to become a better place.  One of my favourite slogans for the IPPF particularly is our work being  ‘globally connected and locally owned’ which I believe supports our Association to make a stronger and more effective difference towards SRHR.  What’s the best thing about your role?  I feel like my work with the PFPPA I can make a difference in improving and empowering specifically women and youth in their lives, not only having an impact on them directly but also on those around them. Can you share an example of how you empower local women?  There are certain moments in my life when I feel like all the sleepless nights are worth it. It might not be every day, but I can tell you for example when I attend an event and women share their stories of their experiences of how through this training, they have learnt about family planning methods, and they now feel that they have the information they need to make decisions on their own.   When we have sessions for women for our survivors of sexual and gender-based violence, we continue to support with life skills training, and at times we give them small grants to begin projects and they say that with the money they are making, they are more independent and are able to have an impact on decisions made within their families, such as being they now have control of this money and are able to support their children. These are times when I say this whole year was worth it!  How do you like to spend your free time?  I laughed when I saw the words “free time”. However, all joking aside… I like to spend time with my family, I enjoy cooking and baking, and in the winter, I often like to knit (although it’s been a few years since I have had time too).   Finally, if there’s one thing in the world that you have the power to change what would that be?  For Palestinians to live in Palestine freely, independently, and with respect and dignity.   

Rahnuma-Family Planning Association of Pakistan

Rahnuma Family Planning Association of Pakistan (R-FPAP) is one of the largest and oldest rights-based civil society organizations in Pakistan providing reproductive health and contraceptive care. 

R-FPAP is recognized both nationally and internationally as an advocate and service provider for reproductive healthcare and SGBV. Furthermore it has distinction to collaborate with all major national and international development agencies (INGOs, UN Systems, Public sector, government institutions). R-FPAP is devoted to eliminate and alleviate the sufferings of marginalized and vulnerable sections of society through integrated and concentrated social uplift efforts in the broader areas of RH and FP. Rahnuma-FPAP RH & FP based services delivery apparatus is composed of 10 fully equipped Family Health Hospitals, 130+ Family Health Centres, 80+ youth resource Centres, 2000+ CBDs and a network of private providers. During 2020, FPAP served 17 million SRH&R services while covering more than six million clients. Our SDPs provide FP, SRH, post abortion care, HIV & AIDS, STI/RTI, Gynaecology, Obstetrics, Urology, Sub-fertility, Specialized SRH, SRH- Paediatrics, Other SRH and Contraceptive Services

Contributions of R-FPAP are recognized by Government of Pakistan through its quarterly performance report issued by Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, under Planning Division (www.PBS.gov.pak).

Yemeni Association for Reproductive Health

Established in June 2009 as a not-for-profit voluntary non-governmental organization, the Yemeni Association for Reproductive Health (YARH) is registered with the Ministry of Social Affairs. YARH became an IPPF Member Association in 2010. YARH carries out its activities to contribute in achieving the following goals:

  • Providing services and rights in the field of high-quality reproductive health provided, enables through the outlets of partners in the public and private sectors, and information and family planning based on of voluntary acceptance and conscious choice without exerting any pressure.
  • Providing family with preventive and curative services in the field of RH/FP and Primary Health Care.
  • Participate and contribute to the implementation of sustainable development programs and humanitarian programs that promote the health and well-being of society.
  • Enhancing the commitment of decision makers to activate legislation and policies on SRH and FP methods.
  • Enhancing the role of women and youth leaderships as advocates for change.
  • Increase youth access to CSE.
  • Raising community awareness by engaging influencers and media professionals in promoting reproductive rights and health.
  • Strengthening the association’s institutional capabilities, increasing its financial resources, and diversifying its sources of income.
  • Increasing the number of volunteers and active activists in the association. 


Through 2 static clinics and 1 youth-friendly service centre, the Member Association provides quality services to the people of Yemen. It has about 484 volunteers and staff working on SRHR, HIV, CSE, and Youth issues on the promotion of awareness amongst young people to empower them to make informed decisions concerning their SRH.

YARH plays a key role in building strategic partnerships with other organisations concerned with young people's programmes in Yemen, and involves the young in identifying, articulating, implementing, monitoring and evaluating youth-friendly projects. YARH provides SRH, FP, Primary Health Care, and MCH. The average no. of services at the static clinics between 23,500 services, this number increased during our implementation projects funded by donors.  

During 2018-2019 we implemented one year project funded by both GoJ-SB, and JTF projects targeted IDP’s and host communities, services provided reached more than 65.000 clients.

 

Lebanese Association for Family Health

SALAMA, the Lebanese Association for Family Health, is an NGO founded in 2008 under the statement of registration No 1740. SALAMA advocates for sexual and reproductive health and rights SRHR by inducing the concerned authorities in Lebanon to support and protect SRHR, promotes and provides high quality SRH services (for children, young people, men and women), and raises awareness for all groups in the society (particularly the underserved and marginalized) in order that they make informed decisions regarding their SRHR. SALAMA is a member of different working groups and networks in Lebanon and at the Arab world regional level.

SALAMA’s objectives are:

  • Gain Support of decision makers and champions to modify, approve and activate laws and develop national strategies related to SRHR issues.
  • Strengthen partnerships with non- governmental and private organizations, women and youth groups, and champions to advocate for SRHR.
  • Empower youth on comprehensive sexuality education CSE in order to fulfill their sexual and reproductive rights.
  • Increase awareness of community and individuals on SRHR issues, stressing on engaging champions, intellectuals and media.
  • Provide high quality SRH services, particularly to the marginalized and displaced people.
  • Enable SRH services especially to the marginalized and displaced people through other stakeholders.
  • Enhance The effectiveness of the association & Mobilize Resources.
  • Expand the volunteers and activists base and enhance their capacities.

SALAMA has 1 clinic in Bekaa- Zahle (Karak), targeting around 4,000 beneficiaries and providing around 40,000 services per year.

 

 

Iraqi Reproductive Health & Family Planning Association

The Iraq Family Planning Association plays a central role in Iraq’s family planning infrastructure. The organization is responsible for the provision of family planning services through the Ministry of Health’s clinics and hospitals, and complements public services. It runs information, education and communication (IEC) initiatives to increase awareness of the relationship between family planning and maternal and child health. This IEC work is particularly targeted at women and young people.

The organization also provide family planning and infertility treatment. This highlights the Member Association’s commitment to assisting clients with every aspect of SRH and parenthood, with particular reference to securing safe motherhood and high quality child healthcare. Its involvement in developing antenatal and post-natal services is significant. What underpins this work, and what helps to promote its expansion, is the advocacy work undertaken with political and religious leaders. Critically, the Iraqi Reproductive Health & Family Planning Association is making considerable strides in ensuring that securing good SRH is integral to resolving issues of poverty.  

IRHFPA arranges and coordinates educational programs to medical and paramedical staff towards training on using contraceptive tools and improving quality of care to clients attending family planning clinics in governmental and private clinics; in collaboration with Iraqi Ministry of Health and WHO. As well as social educational programs on:

  • Advantages of spacing between pregnancies.
  • Use of contraception as a choice and to participate in reducing the unmet need for contraception.
  • Study the increasing domestic violence during Covid-19 pandemic.
プロジェクト開始式の様子

Palestine set to receive $600,000 from Japan to support human security and sexual and reproductive healthcare

On 8 June 2022 in Ramallah, Palestine, there was the inauguration of the project “Improving Human Security in Palestine Through Life-saving Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) Services for People Most in Need," funded by the Government of Japan and implemented by the Palestinian Family Planning and Protection Association, which is IPPF’s Member Association in Palestine.  Recent studies indicate an increase in the number of cases of gender-based violence in Palestine, which requires rapid and timely interventions in terms of psychological and social support, medical services, women and child health services, and sexual and reproductive health services for survivors. This project will seek to address these unmet needs, by providing quality clinic-based SRHR services for women, youth and vulnerable communities in Gaza and the West Bank. It will also expand access to high-quality, life-saving sexual and reproductive health services to communities.  Mr. Masayuki Magoshi, Ambassador of Japan for Palestinian Affairs, said, “We believe that having to living in fear of violence and sexual abuse are core issues of universal human rights. Peace in the region will never be attainable or sustainable in the long term if we do not apply a gender lens to issues. This project is significant in terms of Japan’s continuous commitment toward Palestinian people, especially women. I would like to reaffirm our commitments in line with international solidarity to Palestine, to ensure the implementation of the targets for the 2030 Agenda on maternal, newborn and maternal health in emergencies and ensuring that women have access to comprehensive health care.”  Dr. Amal Hamad, the Palestinian Minister of Women Affairs, said, “the health sector plays a major role in providing comprehensive primary health care to all members of the society, especially services which are directed to women. We are committed to the SDGs especially SDG 3 and SDG 5 in particular and we will keep working to promote for them.” Mr. Sami Natsheh, the Board of Directors President for the Palestinian Family Planning and Protection Association, said, “The project aims at enabling vulnerable and underserved Palestinian women and girls living in difficult humanitarian environments to access and promote sexual and reproductive health services and rights, including services to reduce and combat sexual and gender-based violence by increasing the provision of high quality sexual and reproductive health services.” Dr Fadoua Bakhadda, Regional Director, IPPF Arab World Regional Office, said, ”This project is like a life jacket for women in Palestine, especially those in protracted crisis areas. This funding will ensure the continued provision of essential sexual and reproductive health services, including safe delivery, pregnancy care, family planning, HIV and disease prevention, sexually transmitted infections and their treatment, quality post abortion care, and psychosocial support for survivors of gender-based violence”. Palestinian Family Planning and Protection Association (PFPPA): Established in Jerusalem in 1964, the PFPPA is an independent, non-profit and non-governmental organization registered locally and IPPF’s Member Association in Palestine. PFPPA has service delivery points, located in the West Bank Areas of Ramallah, Bethlehem, Hebron and Halhoul, in addition to one in the Gaza Strip. In cooperation with local partners PFPPA is also responsible for 4 safe spaces to provide Gender Based Violence (GBV) related services in the Jerusalem area. PFPPA is focuses specifically to provide people with diverse options of SRHR services and is the only organization (GO or NGO) that provides contraceptive implants as a FP method. PFPPA is pioneer in the Harm Reduction module for the provision of Abortion Related Services and has provided Technical Assistance and shared their experience on this module with other local like minded organizations in addition to other IPPF Member Association’s as well. International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) Arab World Office: IPPF is a global healthcare provider and a leading advocate of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) for all. Led by a courageous and determined group of women, IPPF was founded in 1952. Today, we are a movement of over 120 autonomous member associations and 23 collaborative partners with a presence in 146 countries. Established in 1971 the IPPF Arab World Region (IPPF AWR) is one of IPPF’s six regional offices. Based in Tunis, it is the leading Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) service delivery organization in the North Africa and the Middle East, and the leading Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) advocacy voice in the region. For further information, or to arrange an interview with PFPPA’s Executive Director, Ms. Ammal Awadallah, please contact Ms. Abeer Dahbour, Communications Officer, PFPPA at [email protected]

Gaza, Palestine/IPPF Humanitarian/Samar Abu Elouf

Government of Japan, through its support for IPPF, will provide life-saving health care services to the most vulnerable populations in Palestine

With support from the Government of Japan, the IPPF Member Association in Palestine (PFPPA) is launching a new project in Palestine targeting the most vulnerable populations that have been severely affected by the humanitarian crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic. It is estimated that at least 1.45 million people in Palestine are in need of healthcare-related humanitarian assistance. The escalation of the conflict in Gaza in May 2021, in addition to the long-standing severe restrictions on movement and inadequate healthcare systems, have resulted in the loss of many lives, the destruction of the healthcare system, and negative impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Together these have increased poverty levels and strained the healthcare system resulting in increased humanitarian and medical assistance needs. In 2022, it is estimated that 63% of the population living in Gaza and 23% in the West Bank will continue to need humanitarian assistance. The vulnerability of women and girls in particular is even greater, with serious and sometimes life-threatening health consequences. In this context, PFPPA will reach vulnerable and hard-to-reach populations (especially women and girls) with sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) services, including sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) related services. This will focus on five locations: Gaza, Hebron, Halhoul, Bethlehem and Ramallah. By the end of February 2023, PFPPA aims to: Deliver quality SRHR and SGBV-related services to approximately 36,000 women and young people through PFPPA clinics in the 5 project target areas. Deliver a Minimum Initial Service Package for reproductive health in crisis situation (MISP: sexual and gender-based violence response, HIV and sexually transmitted disease prevention and treatment, emergency obstetric newborn care, family planning, comprehensive abortion care, etc.) to 4,800 people through mobile clinics in project target areas in Gaza and the West Bank.  Deliver prenatal and postpartum door-to-door services to 160 women, including counselling and services to promote healthy pregnancies and prepare women for childbirth.  Deliver "birth preparedness" services to 30 women and distribute kits consisting of basic supplies for pre- and postpartum preparation, including essential newborn care. Deliver SRH and SGBV services to 2,000 women and girls through mobile apps and telecommunication projects. H.E. Hajime Hayashi, Ambassador of Japan to the United Kingdom, said: “We are delighted to be working with the IPPF to improve the health of women in Palestine, who are increasingly vulnerable to the humanitarian crisis and the impact of the new coronavirus outbreak. This effort will not only contribute to the realization of Japan's emphasis on Universal Health Coverage (UHC), but will also have a direct effect on human security.” Dr Alvaro Bermejo, Executive Director of IPPF, said: “With the support of the Japanese government, IPPF will be able to provide health and life-saving services to vulnerable women in Palestine. We are very grateful for the opportunity to work with the Japanese government to stand with those affected by the conflict and the COVID-19 to ensure that no one is left behind.” Ms Ammal Awadallah, Executive Director of PFPPA, said: “PFPPA is committed to ensuring that all services provided by their team to the population, regardless of each individual's circumstances, are of high quality and are provided securely, with dignity and respect, protecting all those involved from any form of harm. Furthermore, through the generous support of the Japanese government, for which we are greatly appreciative, PFPPA will be able to deliver essential services related to Sexual Reproductive Health Rights (including SGBV) to those living in marginalized and remote areas most in need of such services.” International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF):  Founded in 1952 in Bombay, India, IPPF’s founding members included Madam Shizue Kato, one of Japan's first female parliamentarians and the leader of the family planning movement. Today, IPPF is one of the world's largest international NGOs working to defend sexual and reproductive health and rights and to deliver SRH services and information to all people (especially vulnerable people) through its grassroots network of 120 Member Associations and Collaborative Partners working in 140 countries including Palestine around the world. Contact: Yuri Taniguchi, Chief Strategic Partnerships and Development Advisor (S.E.Asia), International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) London Office 

FPAP staff conducts an Awareness Raising Session on Reproductive Health
11 March 2022

Responding with Essential SRHR Provision and New Delivery (RESPOND)

The Responding with Essential SRHR Provision and New Delivery mechanisms (RESPOND) project aims to restore services, particularly to marginalized populations such as young people, people living in poverty, and people with disabilities, which have been impacted by COVID-19. This two-year project is being implemented jointly by IPPF and Marie Stopes International across 22 countries in the Asia Pacific region, funded by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. IPPF is supporting Member Associations to implement RESPOND-funded activities in Cambodia, Laos, Indonesia, Philippines, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, Maldives, Papua New Guinea, and the Pacific Islands. The ultimate outcome of the RESPOND project is to ensure populations affected by the COVID-19 pandemic in the Asia Pacific region have enhanced SRHR. Case study: Serving Afghan refugees in Pakistan UNHCR recorded approximately 1.4 million Afghan refugees in Pakistan in 2021, with 30,000 arriving in August alone as the Taliban took control in Afghanistan. The Pakistani government's capacity to respond to this humanitarian crisis remains limited given the scale of need. Living conditions in many camps are poor, with overcrowding a major challenge. Pervasive gender inequality and a de-prioritisation of sexual and reproductive health (SRH) care mean that women and girls are particularly vulnerable, and at heightened risk of illness and death from preventable causes including unsafe abortions and maternal complications. With support from the Australian government, IPPF is addressing SRH needs through the RESPOND program. This program, running across 19 countries where IPPF has a presence, aims to serve 13,440 Afghan refugees in Pakistan over two years (2021-2023). 

Dr Rania
07 March 2022

Podcast: Dr. Rania on the frontlines of delivering global humanitarian responses

IPPF · Podcast: Dr. Rania on the frontlines of delivering global humanitarian responses “I recall the first humanitarian crisis that I was part of was in 1988, flooding in Sudan,” said Dr. Rania Abdalla Abu Elhassan, IPPF’s Regional Humanitarian Advisor for the Arab World and Africa Regions. “I was still very young, I was wondering how those tents had arrived, how this food is distributed... my understanding of disasters was very fragile. But that really opened my eyes.”  With lived experience of humanitarian crises, Dr. Rania offers an important perspective in her work as a medical doctor and a frontline humanitarian responder. Over her 20-year career as an obstetrician and gynecologist in Sudan and with national and international NGOs, she has provided lifesaving sexual and reproductive health care to women and girls in emergencies around the world.   For this year’s International Women’s Day, Dr. Rania spoke about how she got involved in humanitarian work, the barriers and opportunities facing women in the sector, and what she will do her new role at IPPF to ensure sexual and reproductive health needs are not overlooked amid growing global humanitarian needs.   “There is always a counter argument when it comes to women’s sexual and reproductive health in male dominated communities,” she said. “It is a very shaky idea for the dominance of the male figure. But we are not arguing from a religious perspective. We are speaking about facts. We want to make it safer and easier for women [to access their sexual and reproductive health] because we don't want to lose those women.”  With a master's degree in public health, as well as diplomas in humanitarian assistance and in gender advocacy, Dr. Rania applies a holistic approach to her work. Still, she has faced numerous barriers as a woman in the humanitarian sector, and she says that more needs to be done to ensure gender equity at all levels of humanitarian response.   “There is an unspoken consensus in some humanitarian organizations that females cannot perform like males,” she said. “I have been working with all male medical doctors in a warzone, and their assumption is that this is a warzone... This is a man’s place, it's not a woman place. But we must prepare for gender balance and gender parity prior to the crisis. Because if something was not existing before the crisis, you cannot implement it after a crisis.”   Hear more from Dr. Rania in this podcast.

A woman smiles during a youth session
13 January 2022

Pakistan: Reaching young people with sexual health services

An estimated 64% of Pakistan’s population is under the age of 30, and the country now has more young people than it has in its history. In light of this, it is important that policies are in place that can effectively respond to the needs of Pakistani youth.  While government policies are increasingly considering youth but in areas such as sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), policies remain virtually non-existent. The sexual reproductive health of young people continues to be a taboo due to existing and widely entrenched cultural, social, and religious belief that young people – particularly those who are unmarried – have no need for SRHR information and services. Multi-approach techniques for youth Young people not only need access to comprehensive SRHR information but also services that cater to their needs. Through the WISH program*, IPPF’s Member Association R-FPAP has implemented many different approaches to reach young people with SRHR information and services. Through these approaches the programme was able to reach 8.3% of youth (of the total clients served) between January 2019 and August 2021, increasing from 2.5% in the first quarter of the programme, reaching a high of 10.2% in the second to last quarter (+7.7%).  Further, there was a 203% increase in total SRHR services provided to youth under 20 between 2018 (pre-WISH) and 2021. 

Ammal Awadallah, ED, Palestine Family Planning and Protection Association (PFPPA)
05 January 2022

Women in Leadership: Ammal Awadallah, Palestine

Ammal Awadallah began her career as a finance and administrative director for the Palestine Family Planning and Protection Association (PFPPA), a position she held for 12 years. During that time her passion in women’s rights and sexual and reproductive healthcare continued to grow, and in 2019, she took on the role of PFPPA’s Executive Director. As part of our Women in Leadership series, IPPF spoke to Ammal about leading an organization through emergency responses, pushing for change, and empowering women.  Growing up in Palestine what was your experience of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), did you receive sex education?  Although I do not recall specifically, I think it would have to have been sometime in my early teens. Although that was quite a while back, I went to a Quakers school in Palestine, and I do recall a visit from a health worker to our classroom to explain to us about family planning methods and protected sex.   What led to your interest in sexual and reproductive health?  I was always a strong supporter of women’s rights; however, it was not until I began working with PFPPA that I actually became specifically aware and developed an in-depth interest in SRHR.   Noting that although I joined the PFPPA team as a Financial Director, it was clear from the start that my role would be more than just that. I was passionate of what we were working towards, and the more information I gained the more passionate I became, I felt that what I was working towards was reflecting what I truly believe in. I found a way to support a joint goal with colleagues, not only locally and nationally but also globally through the IPPF.  How would you describe your role as Executive Director (ED) of PFPPA?  Responsibility, leadership, management, supervising, delegating, following up, monitoring, evaluating, responsibility, transparency, accountability.  How did you incorporate all these leadership skills in the recent emergency response following the airstrikes in Gaza?  Being a leader, and as the ED, I think it was truly one of my main responsibilities to be accountable both to the community (the people in Gaza) and to the donor providing the money.   We got in contact with our service providers that were living in the zone - some of them had their homes effected during the attacks on Gaza - and we were asking them what the best and safest way is to deal with it and what is best for everyone. Together we agreed on the best approach to provide sexual and reproductive services. This was a joint venture; I know what’s happening in the field from the service providers, and that they are the real heroes and I have a huge responsibility to my team. We try to be as transparent and accountable as possible.  For us as an association, working since 1964, we have been providing services within a protracted humanitarian crisis setting for decades. This has made us stronger and increased our commitment to ensure continuity to provide essential services regardless of the difficulties we encounter.    What challenges have you faced leading SRHR services in humanitarian emergencies during the COVID-19 pandemic?  Although they are numerous, the one that was extremely challenging was ensuring that our regular clients were being followed up, particularly those that were adopting methods such as condoms, pills or injections as family planning methods and feared that they would not be able to obtain these methods during the lockdowns and would result in unwanted pregnancies.   However, it was the prompt response and experience of the team in facing lockdowns imposed by the Occupational Forces in previous years that allowed them to come up with approaches to reach women in their homes directly, to lessen the chances of unwanted pregnancies occurring.   In addition, it was also a challenge to ensure that women could get in contact with our team to at least receive counselling and consultation. However, this was also quickly dealt with by utilizing social media channels to disseminate contact phone numbers of doctors, midwives, social workers, psychologists, and even lawyers. Furthermore, before a month of lockdowns passed, a free hotline was established, and a social worker was taking calls and also referring cases to the service providers mentioned earlier or to other partner associations for further assistance.   What changes have you seen in Palestine over the years when it comes to sexual health and rights?  Youth are becoming more encouraged and empowered in addressing SRHR issues. They are more outspoken, more aware and have the ability to be significant leaders and agents of change.   What areas are still taboo in Palestine, and how do you push for change?  Speaking about women's rights in its full extent - women's bodily autonomy. The way we push for change is always based on respect for the opinion of others and our country context.   We try to address the topics from a scientific evidence-based approach, highlighting the positive experiences of other countries when change was made. We approach the general public in order to provide them with information and empowerment to make well informed decisions. At the same time, we work to advocate for change with decision makers.  Noting, as an Association, we are always respectful of others' opinions and work in alignment with out country's context and culture.  Can you see yourself doing anything other than what you are doing right now?  No, I don’t think so! I’ve never really thought about it. I believe in the work of NGOs, and I believe NGOSs do make an impact on the lives of people within the community. So, I feel like my work gives back. I’ve had a good life and so I feel like I should give back to my community that deserves it. So, I can’t think of ever working with anything that doesn’t involve giving back to my community to become a better place.  One of my favourite slogans for the IPPF particularly is our work being  ‘globally connected and locally owned’ which I believe supports our Association to make a stronger and more effective difference towards SRHR.  What’s the best thing about your role?  I feel like my work with the PFPPA I can make a difference in improving and empowering specifically women and youth in their lives, not only having an impact on them directly but also on those around them. Can you share an example of how you empower local women?  There are certain moments in my life when I feel like all the sleepless nights are worth it. It might not be every day, but I can tell you for example when I attend an event and women share their stories of their experiences of how through this training, they have learnt about family planning methods, and they now feel that they have the information they need to make decisions on their own.   When we have sessions for women for our survivors of sexual and gender-based violence, we continue to support with life skills training, and at times we give them small grants to begin projects and they say that with the money they are making, they are more independent and are able to have an impact on decisions made within their families, such as being they now have control of this money and are able to support their children. These are times when I say this whole year was worth it!  How do you like to spend your free time?  I laughed when I saw the words “free time”. However, all joking aside… I like to spend time with my family, I enjoy cooking and baking, and in the winter, I often like to knit (although it’s been a few years since I have had time too).   Finally, if there’s one thing in the world that you have the power to change what would that be?  For Palestinians to live in Palestine freely, independently, and with respect and dignity.   

Rahnuma-Family Planning Association of Pakistan

Rahnuma Family Planning Association of Pakistan (R-FPAP) is one of the largest and oldest rights-based civil society organizations in Pakistan providing reproductive health and contraceptive care. 

R-FPAP is recognized both nationally and internationally as an advocate and service provider for reproductive healthcare and SGBV. Furthermore it has distinction to collaborate with all major national and international development agencies (INGOs, UN Systems, Public sector, government institutions). R-FPAP is devoted to eliminate and alleviate the sufferings of marginalized and vulnerable sections of society through integrated and concentrated social uplift efforts in the broader areas of RH and FP. Rahnuma-FPAP RH & FP based services delivery apparatus is composed of 10 fully equipped Family Health Hospitals, 130+ Family Health Centres, 80+ youth resource Centres, 2000+ CBDs and a network of private providers. During 2020, FPAP served 17 million SRH&R services while covering more than six million clients. Our SDPs provide FP, SRH, post abortion care, HIV & AIDS, STI/RTI, Gynaecology, Obstetrics, Urology, Sub-fertility, Specialized SRH, SRH- Paediatrics, Other SRH and Contraceptive Services

Contributions of R-FPAP are recognized by Government of Pakistan through its quarterly performance report issued by Pakistan Bureau of Statistics, under Planning Division (www.PBS.gov.pak).

Yemeni Association for Reproductive Health

Established in June 2009 as a not-for-profit voluntary non-governmental organization, the Yemeni Association for Reproductive Health (YARH) is registered with the Ministry of Social Affairs. YARH became an IPPF Member Association in 2010. YARH carries out its activities to contribute in achieving the following goals:

  • Providing services and rights in the field of high-quality reproductive health provided, enables through the outlets of partners in the public and private sectors, and information and family planning based on of voluntary acceptance and conscious choice without exerting any pressure.
  • Providing family with preventive and curative services in the field of RH/FP and Primary Health Care.
  • Participate and contribute to the implementation of sustainable development programs and humanitarian programs that promote the health and well-being of society.
  • Enhancing the commitment of decision makers to activate legislation and policies on SRH and FP methods.
  • Enhancing the role of women and youth leaderships as advocates for change.
  • Increase youth access to CSE.
  • Raising community awareness by engaging influencers and media professionals in promoting reproductive rights and health.
  • Strengthening the association’s institutional capabilities, increasing its financial resources, and diversifying its sources of income.
  • Increasing the number of volunteers and active activists in the association. 


Through 2 static clinics and 1 youth-friendly service centre, the Member Association provides quality services to the people of Yemen. It has about 484 volunteers and staff working on SRHR, HIV, CSE, and Youth issues on the promotion of awareness amongst young people to empower them to make informed decisions concerning their SRH.

YARH plays a key role in building strategic partnerships with other organisations concerned with young people's programmes in Yemen, and involves the young in identifying, articulating, implementing, monitoring and evaluating youth-friendly projects. YARH provides SRH, FP, Primary Health Care, and MCH. The average no. of services at the static clinics between 23,500 services, this number increased during our implementation projects funded by donors.  

During 2018-2019 we implemented one year project funded by both GoJ-SB, and JTF projects targeted IDP’s and host communities, services provided reached more than 65.000 clients.

 

Lebanese Association for Family Health

SALAMA, the Lebanese Association for Family Health, is an NGO founded in 2008 under the statement of registration No 1740. SALAMA advocates for sexual and reproductive health and rights SRHR by inducing the concerned authorities in Lebanon to support and protect SRHR, promotes and provides high quality SRH services (for children, young people, men and women), and raises awareness for all groups in the society (particularly the underserved and marginalized) in order that they make informed decisions regarding their SRHR. SALAMA is a member of different working groups and networks in Lebanon and at the Arab world regional level.

SALAMA’s objectives are:

  • Gain Support of decision makers and champions to modify, approve and activate laws and develop national strategies related to SRHR issues.
  • Strengthen partnerships with non- governmental and private organizations, women and youth groups, and champions to advocate for SRHR.
  • Empower youth on comprehensive sexuality education CSE in order to fulfill their sexual and reproductive rights.
  • Increase awareness of community and individuals on SRHR issues, stressing on engaging champions, intellectuals and media.
  • Provide high quality SRH services, particularly to the marginalized and displaced people.
  • Enable SRH services especially to the marginalized and displaced people through other stakeholders.
  • Enhance The effectiveness of the association & Mobilize Resources.
  • Expand the volunteers and activists base and enhance their capacities.

SALAMA has 1 clinic in Bekaa- Zahle (Karak), targeting around 4,000 beneficiaries and providing around 40,000 services per year.

 

 

Iraqi Reproductive Health & Family Planning Association

The Iraq Family Planning Association plays a central role in Iraq’s family planning infrastructure. The organization is responsible for the provision of family planning services through the Ministry of Health’s clinics and hospitals, and complements public services. It runs information, education and communication (IEC) initiatives to increase awareness of the relationship between family planning and maternal and child health. This IEC work is particularly targeted at women and young people.

The organization also provide family planning and infertility treatment. This highlights the Member Association’s commitment to assisting clients with every aspect of SRH and parenthood, with particular reference to securing safe motherhood and high quality child healthcare. Its involvement in developing antenatal and post-natal services is significant. What underpins this work, and what helps to promote its expansion, is the advocacy work undertaken with political and religious leaders. Critically, the Iraqi Reproductive Health & Family Planning Association is making considerable strides in ensuring that securing good SRH is integral to resolving issues of poverty.  

IRHFPA arranges and coordinates educational programs to medical and paramedical staff towards training on using contraceptive tools and improving quality of care to clients attending family planning clinics in governmental and private clinics; in collaboration with Iraqi Ministry of Health and WHO. As well as social educational programs on:

  • Advantages of spacing between pregnancies.
  • Use of contraception as a choice and to participate in reducing the unmet need for contraception.
  • Study the increasing domestic violence during Covid-19 pandemic.