Friends of UNFPA, Inc

UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, is an international development agency that promotes the right of every woman, man and child to enjoy a life of health and equal opportunity. UNFPA supports countries in using population data for policies and programs to reduce poverty and to ensure every birth is safe, every young person is free of HIV/AIDS, and every girl and woman is treated with dignity and respect. Friends of UNFPA was established in 1998. It is a non-profit organization, headquartered in New York, that supports the work of UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund. UNFPA is delivering a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe, and every young person's ...
Jun 26, 2015

UNFPA Works to Restore Maternal Health after Ebola

A woman and her baby rest at a UNFPA clinic
A woman and her baby rest at a UNFPA clinic

In 2014, the Ebola Virus infected over 10,000 people in the West African countries of Guinea, Liberia, and Sierra Leone. Millions more were affected. 1.1 million pregnant women were cut off from essential maternal health services. Overwhelmed by the virus, strained health systems became unable to provide reproductive health care.

UNFPA helped limit the spread of the virus through the process of contact tracing. By training community professionals to locate each person who came in contact with an infected patient, UNFPA was able to refer at-risk people to necessary testing and care. UNFPA also provided drugs, equipment and other support to health facilities throughout the region.

The outbreak is slowing down, but health systems remain disrupted. Too few women deliver under the care of skilled birth attendants, such as doctors or midwives, and many health centers lack electricity and running water. UNFPA is working with partners to improve women’s access to antenatal care, safe delivery services and postpartum care in the aftermath of the crisis.

In Liberia, UNFPA and partners distributed 2,000 solar-powered lights to health facilities throughout the country. In facilities without electricity, the lights help health workers safely deliver babies at night; previously, staff had to rely on flashlights or candlelight. “We are now able to conduct safe deliveries at night with less worry about illumination,” said Patricia Wilson, the maternal and child health supervisor at Fish Town Hospital, in River Gee County, Liberia.

During the outbreak, many pregnant women turned to traditional birth attendants for care. UNFPA has now trained many of those attendants to promote facilities-based deliveries and care so women can be adequately treated if childbirth complications arise. As a result, in Bomi county Liberia alone, facilities-based deliveries increased from 61 percent to 74 percent within the months following the outbreak.

More work is still needed to ensure the reproductive health needs of women and girls throughout the region are being met. Currently, UNFPA is working to recruit and train 500 midwives, doctors, and health workers. We are grateful for your partnership in supporting UNFPA’s efforts in West Africa to decrease maternal mortality rates and improve access to family planning in the wake of the Ebola outbreak. With your continued commitment we can ensure that women who give life don’t have to risk their own.

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Jun 4, 2015

UNFPA Supports Safe Delivery after Nepal Earthquak

8 million people were affected by the devastating earthquake that jolted Nepal on April 25th, 2015, including 126,000 pregnant women. Health facilities are now overwhelmed and medical supplies are being quickly depleted. As a result, thousands of women may give birth in appalling conditions, without access to safe birth services and lifesaving care.

For only $11 you can provide 3 emergency clean birthing kits consisting of a bar of soap, a clear plastic sheet, razor blade, an umbilical cord tie, cloth and latex gloves to help deliver babies safely in crisis situations like the Nepal earthquake.

UNFPA is responding in quake-affected areas with reproductive health kits to support safe birth, as well as dignity kits, which contain hygiene supplies for women and girls of reproductive age. UNFPA and partners are also working to prevent gender-based violence, which is known to increase in the aftermath of disasters.

“I was indoors when the ground started shaking,” said Sabina, who was 3 months pregnant at the time of the earthquake. “Fortunately, I have enough food for now,” she said, “but I need materials that meet my health needs. I need to protect myself and the baby inside me.”

New mothers, including those who are breastfeeding, need special care as well. Rabina is the mother of a 14-month-old boy. Her home, too, was destroyed, and her family is living at a temporary camp. "Even simple supplies like soap, scarves, saris and sanitary pads are so useful at this time,” Rabina said. “I can take better care of my baby if I can take better care of myself."

A donation of just $25 can provide a woman like Rabina with hygiene essentials for six months, ensuring that she is able to maintain her dignity and health in emergency situations.

The earthquake triggered landslides and violent aftershocks that have pushed families out of their houses in the weeks ahead of monsoon season. Even after the crisis garnered international attention, over a million women and girls in Nepal alone remain in need of essential reproductive health care.

With a contribution towards UNFPA’s distribution of clean birthing kits you can provide health and dignity for women and girls in crisis situations around the world. 

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Mar 10, 2015

Safe delivery services come to Domiz refugee camp

Ruqaya is 9 months pregnant living in Domiz camp
Ruqaya is 9 months pregnant living in Domiz camp

Syria is experiencing the biggest humanitarian crisis in the world today. With more than 3 million people, mostly women and children, being forced to seek refuge in neighbouring countries, the need for maternal healthcare is high. Over 400,000 refugees will give birth within the next 9 months and your help is essential to their care.

For only $11 you can provide 3 emergency clean birthing kits consisting of a bar of soap, a clear plastic sheet, razor blade, an umbilical cord tie, cloth and latex gloves to help deliver babies safely in crisis situations.

In the Dominz camp in Duhok Iraq, a UNFPA run maternity sees between 30-35 pregnant women each day. These clinics are a lifeline for many women and babies but additional supplies and trained midwives are always needed. UNFPA understands that in emergencies women’s reproductive health needs are easily overlooked but women and girls are often the most vulnerable during crisis, and having a safe place to give birth is crucial.

Ruqaya, 36, leaves the UNFPA maternity clinic saying: "Despite the hardships and difficulties in making a living, other aspects of life go on normally." She and her four children had to flee their home in Qamishli, Syria and while she could not have imagined having another child, she is in the final stages of her pregnancy. “Life goes on,” she said, “I am in the ninth month of my pregnancy now”. Thanks to UNFPA and your donations, Ruqaya and other women like her are not alone and they are provided with the support and resources required to give birth safely, with fewer worries.

A donation of just $25 can provide one woman, like Ruqaya, with hygiene essentials for six months, ensuring that she is able to maintain her dignity and health in emergency situations.

“Having a maternity clinic in the camp is a relief,” said Natja, a 25 year old refugee but your donations are still needed. Not only does UNFPA provide birthing and hygiene kits, UNFPA also provides emergency obstetric care and psychosocial support that are often forgotten about for those living in crises. Please consider making a kind donation to help save the lives of women refugees from Syria and their babies. 

UNFPA distributes hygiene kits to women in Iraq
UNFPA distributes hygiene kits to women in Iraq
Just $11 provides 3 emergency clean birthing kits
Just $11 provides 3 emergency clean birthing kits

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