UNFPA - United Nations Population Fund
UN and EU launch global effort to end violence against women


Svitlana Tavantseva counsels survivors of violence in Ukraine. Too often, she says, women are shamed rather than perpetrators. © UNFPA Ukraine/Maks Levin

UNITED NATIONS, New York – Violence against women continues to be the most pervasive human rights violation in the world. Roughly one in three women experience physical or sexual assault in her lifetime – and this figure may well be an underestimate.

Friday, September 22, 2017 8:47:01 AM

Leaders at United Nations address sexual violence as a weapon of war


"Please don't give up," urges a message at a clinic in Dohuk, Iraq, specializing in treatment for survivors of sexual violence. Sexual and gender-based violence are commonly seen as tactics of warfare. © UNFPAIraq/Turchenkova

UNITED NATIONS, New York – “Our girls were not born to be sexual slaves. Each one of them had a dream or goal for future,” Zina Salim Hassan, a 21-year-old Yazidi advocate, told UNFPA ahead of an United Nations event focusing on the use of sexual and gender-based violence as a weapon of war.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017 11:22:37 AM

UNFPA aid reaches Deir Ez-Zor City for the first time in three years


UNFPA delivered hygiene supplies to the city of Deir Ez-Zor, which had been inaccessible to humanitarians for three years. © Syrian Arab Red Crescent

Damascus, Syria – For the first time in three years, UNFPA has been able to send aid to the city of Deir Ez-Zor, where tens of thousands of people are in urgent need. Relief was provided through a humanitarian convoy organized by the Syrian Arab Red Crescent.

Deir Ez-Zor is the largest city in eastern Syria, and it has had been besieged by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, also known as ISIS or Da'esh) since 2014. It was only last week that the siege was broken and humanitarian access was restored.

Friday, September 15, 2017 4:12:19 PM

Flooding, mudslides leave communities devastated, pregnant women in need


UNFPA staff survey the aftermath of the disaster, which has affected thousands of households. © UNFPA/Sulaiman Stephens

Regent, SIERRA LEONE – “I saw the rocks from the hill fly up into the air,” Martha Kamara, 28, told UNFPA, describing the floods and landslides that devastated 13 areas in Freetown, Sierra Leone’s capital, last month.

Ms. Kamara is eight months pregnant from the Motormeh Community in Regent. She and two of her daughters, ages 9 and 5, survived the disaster. But her three-year-old daughter and brother both died.

“When the rescue team pulled my brother out from the mud, they pulled out his unclothed corpse and some of his body parts,” Ms. Kamara said.

Thursday, September 14, 2017 1:03:58 PM

As Rohingya refugees pour into Bangladesh, UNFPA deploys midwives, safe spaces


UNFPA is providing dignity kits, which contain hygiene and safety supplies, as well as deploying midwives and establishing safe spaces. © UNFPA Bangladesh

DHAKA, Bangladesh – An “unprecedented” flow of Rohingya refugees is crossing the border into Bangladesh, with an estimated 370,000 pouring across the border since 25 August to escape the latest violence in Myanmar’s Rakhine State.

The Rohingya population in Cox’s Bazar District has more than doubled and is still increasing day by day, overwhelming existing camps and settlements as well as host communities and relief agencies.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017 4:45:33 PM

UNFPA responds as entire population of Barbuda evacuated following Hurricane Irma


The United Nations Disaster Assessment and Coordination carried out a rapid assessment in Antigua and Barbuda on 8 September. © Silva Lauffer/UNDAC

ST. JOHN’S, Antigua – Hurricane Irma, one of the most powerful storms ever recorded, has destroyed almost all critical facilities in Barbuda, forcing the evacuation of the entire population to Antigua.

Tuesday, September 12, 2017 2:35:31 PM

Escape at dawn: running away from child marriage and FGM in Kenya


Faith (centre) with her friends Sylvia (right) and Vivian, who all ran away from home to avoid female genital mutilation and child marriage. © UNFPA Kenya/Douglas Waudo

NAIKARRA, Kenya – “I woke up one morning, and my father told me that we were poor and needed money,” said Faith, describing the moment she learned she was engaged. She was 11 years old at the time.

Her father explained that an elder in their village, in Kenya’s Narok County, would marry her and pay a bride price, which would alleviate some of the family’s financial hardship.

And the news got worse: Before she could be married off, she would have to undergo female genital mutilation (FGM).

Wednesday, September 06, 2017 12:13:23 PM

“I decide for myself”: South Sudanese woman shows the power of knowledge


Elizabeth Ayumpou Balang speaks with a midwife during her antenatal check-up at the Kiir Mayardit Women's Hospital in Rumbek. ©UNFPA South Sudan/Arlene Alano

RUMBEK, South Sudan – Elizabeth Ayumpou Balang is a teacher at a nursery and primary school in Rumbek, a town in central South Sudan. It is her dream job, but it did not come easily. Like many girls in South Sudan, Ms. Balang was married, and became a mother, while just a teenager. 

Friday, September 01, 2017 12:21:37 PM

Violence, fear limit access to pregnancy care in Democratic Republic of Congo's Kasai area


Pregnant women wait to be screened at the Kalomba health center during a UNFPA-supported mobile clinic. © UNFPA DRC

KALOMBA, Democratic Republic of the Congo – Jacqueline Lusambo is 18 and pregnant, and has spent the last six months living in the bush, hiding from the conflict that rages through Kasai Central, in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

She did not think it would be this way. When she learned, eight months ago, that she was pregnant with her second child, she and her husband were living comfortably in the village of Milambo.

Friday, September 01, 2017 10:43:57 AM

Alarming shortage of health personnel in conflict-affected Nigeria


MAIDUGURI, Nigeria – Retired but not tired. This is how people describe Hauwa Lassa, a nurse and midwife who came out of retirement to care for women and girls affected by the conflict in north-eastern Nigeria.

“I have been working in the field of maternal health in this country for more than 35 years,” she told UNFPA in Maiduguri, where she works at a health facility in one of the displacement camps. “It is now with this crisis going on that the women need support. So I decided to come back to the health centre and help.”

Tuesday, August 29, 2017 11:58:59 AM


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