Jun 30, 2020

Rohingya maternal health during the pandemic

In 2019, UNFPA was not able to meet its funding goal and was forced to reduce essential reproductive health services for women and girls in the Rohingya refugee camps. Then the COVID-19 pandemic hit, leaving the Rohingya in a total lockdown where they are more vulnerable than ever before.

Today, 1.3 million Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh are in crowded, hygiene-poor conditions with limited access to healthcare. COVID-19 is especially dangerous in this environment, and puts the 318,500 Rohingya women and girls of reproductive age in dire need of humanitarian aid. 

UNFPA’s work for women and girls is even more crucial during crises like the pandemic, when attention to sexual reproductive health, child marriage, and gender-based violence is overlooked. Even more alarming is the projected rise of reproductive health issues and violence. When health and security systems fall apart, women and girls lose access to family planning and psychosocial counseling. 

The right to reproductive health and family planning does not go away, even in the most dire of circumstances. 31,200 pregnant Rohingya women need prenatal and safe birth services. But without the necessary funding, these women and girls will be without crucial, and sometimes lifesaving services. UNFPA is working hard to ensure that quality sexual and reproductive health services remain available to all women and girls in the camps. 

In the last year, UNFPA provided over 123,000 family planning consultations to Rohingya women who wanted them. Last year, UNFPA-trained birth attendants helped 13,000 women have a safe birth in the camps. An additional 84,000 emergency birth kits were distributed to pregnant women. Now that the pandemic has restricted movement of both Rohingya women and humanitarian aid, these birth kits will be essential to safeguarding the health of Rohingya mothers and babies.

In light of the pandemic, UNFPA updated their sexual and reproductive health programs to better protect staff and Rohingya patients. Health facilities received personal protection equipment and reproductive health kits were distributed so that SHRH services can go uninterrupted. Just as important, UNFPA established a hand washing system at every health clinic, where volunteers are guiding Rohingya patients in hand washing and social distancing protocols. 

Rohingya moms will need continued access to family planning services, safe spaces, and other lifesaving support. Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for funding is most urgent. Your support of UNFPA’s work in Cox’s Bazar will help decide the outcome of new moms in the camps. Please donate today!

May 12, 2020

Triplets during coronavirus- what your gift can do

Aisha's healthy babies
Aisha's healthy babies

Giving birth is becoming dramatically less safe. 

In Yemen, Aisha was pregnant but did not access prenatal care. She was afraid of leaving the house – afraid of the violence that engrosses the country. 

And afraid of the virus.

“We kept hearing on the television about a new virus called corona that is killing people in many countries.” 

Aisha was also pregnant with triplets. 

You can help new moms like Aisha get the care they need. Just $15 provides three women with emergency birth kits, so they can safely deliver their babies during crises. 

Aisha made a decision that many mothers in Yemen make. She decided to give birth at home. 

“My mother kept shouting that there were two umbilical cords hanging and I was losing blood.” 

Her uncle lived nearby and rushed her to a UNFPA-supported hospital. “It was like a miracle,” she said, after giving birth to three healthy babies. 

A contribution of $100 supplies five midwives with the items they need to help moms like Aisha give birth. 

With health care systems at risk of collapsing, UNFPA is urgently supplying lifesaving medical equipment to help frontline health workers save mothers and babies. 

More than 800 mothers die every day due to causes related to pregnancy and childbirth. This will worsen during the COVID-19 pandemic

Can you help ensure that the world's most vulnerable receive the care they need during these uncertain times? Your gift of $25 provides one woman with the hygiene essentials she needs to take care of herself and her baby for the first six months. 


Mar 2, 2020

Rohingya Women: the most vulnerable refugees

Rohingya Woman with Dignity Kit
Rohingya Woman with Dignity Kit

In crisis situations, women and girls are the most vulnerable populationImmediate aid is often focused on basic needs like food and water, while essential reproductive healthcare like family planning and protection from gender-based violence a overlooked are overlooked.  

There are over 64,000 pregnant women amongst the Rohingya refugee population in Bangladesh in need of reproductive healthcare. This number is not surprising when a humanitarian emergency strikes, harmful practices like child marriage, assault and rape are more prevalent 

For $150, you can provide supplies, medications and equipment to health clinics that help safely manage obstetric emergencies. 

When resources are scarce, families are more likely to marry off their daughters, often to much older male strangers. Child marriage is closely linked with early pregnancy, which is the top killer of girls aged 15-19. In crisis settings, these girls are also less likely to have access to the prenatal and delivery care they need to have safe pregnancies. This means the lives of both the mother and baby are at risk. 

It’s $5 for ONE emergency birth kit that includes a bar of soap, plastic sheet, razor blade, an umbilical cord tie, cloth and latex gloves. That means you can help save 10 mothers for just $50! 

In addition to life-saving supplies, it’crucial to build education and health services to empower Rohingya women and girls so that they can choose if, when, and with whom they want to have children.. UNFPA is increasing resources for sexual and reproductive health services, as well as offering skill training sessions for women so they can achieve economic independence-- one of the best ways to limit a woman’s exposure to violence 

It’s now been more than two years since the crux of the Rohingya refugee crisis, and there is no definite answer as to when they will be able to return home. This is why UNFPA is centering their efforts on making humanitarian aid sustainable, including training Rohingya women themselves to work in safe spaces and as midwives.  

Midwives save lives. And it only takes $100 to fund a midwife for a single week. 


WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.