COVID-19 CORONAVIRUS UPDATES:
We're closely monitoring the spread of COVID-19 and our priority is continuing to deliver care to the women who need us. Click here to read more.

Choose a country

Latin America
North America
West Asia and Middle East

Contact details

Find country

Fragile states and humanitarian situations

We champion reproductive healthcare as a life-saving component of any humanitarian response.

Every woman deserves the right to choose, but emergency settings present serious barriers.

Often there's a desperate shortage of clinical services, health workers and commodities, as well as stigma, discrimination, and legal and policy restrictions.

One of the most critical gaps is the lack of provision for family planning, safe abortion services and post-abortion care. Throughout our country programmes we deliver sexual and reproductive health services to women in fragile states, conflict zones and during times of natural disaster.

Although we are not a humanitarian agency as such, our teams work in a large and growing number of unstable and emergency settings. For us, sexual and reproductive health is an essential human right; a life-saving component of any humanitarian response and one that needs a much greater international commitment.

 

We believe sexual and reproductive health is a life-saving component of any humanitarian response, and one that needs a much greater international commitment.

Women's risk of dying in childbirth increases dramatically in humanitarian settings, and 50% of maternal deaths occur in fragile states.

Making women visible

In emergency settings, women’s reproductive health needs are often invisible in the rush to provide other essential services.

Yet the risk of dying in childbirth increases dramatically in humanitarian settings, and 50% of maternal deaths occur in fragile states. Highest levels of sexual violence occur when conflict and disorder are at their height - at the same time as providers are evacuating - and women’s health and protection needs are not always integrated into the provision of other essential services such as shelter, water, food and vaccinations.

Neglecting reproductive health can have serious consequences, not only with increased preventable maternal and infant deaths, but also unwanted pregnancies, unsafe abortions, and the spread of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections.

The international community needs to be braver - to provide what women actually need rather than what they feel most comfortable with providing.

Increasing access to essential services

We believe access to sexual and reproductive health services is a universal human right, and our work in humanitarian settings is just one way in which we're making this a reality for everyone.

Policy and advocacy

Providing services alone will not secure universal access to contraception or safe abortion. To create real change we work with governments to transform the environments in which we operate.

Read more

Outreach

Outreach is our most effective way of reaching people who don’t have access to contraception. We will drive, fly, sail or trek to rural and remote communities lacking reproductive health services.

Read more

Where we work

Our teams are making real impact in 37 countries round the world, delivering services on the ground and building the capacity of national health systems.

Read more

More in this section

Our vision for the future is bold.

By 2030 no abortion will be unsafe and everyone that want access to contraception will have it.