UNFPA and WFP join forces to meet soaring reproductive health and nutrition needs in southern Madagascar

AMBOASARY/GRAND SUD, Madagascar – Just weeks away from delivering her fifth child, Homoroe Haova, 33, looked down at her stomach and smiled, reassured she could give birth safely as well as feed her children in the coming weeks. Homoroe was among 800 women who had waited in line all…

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Ukrainian refugees build new lives far from home

MEDYKA, Poland Ivanna was four months pregnant when she and her two children fled their home. She left behind everything she knew in Ukraine, including where to access maternal health care. She also left behind her 65-year-old father, who wished to stay. Their destination was Antwerp, Belgium, where…

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A fresh start for women sanitation workers in India

PATNA, India – “When we wear our uniforms, people recognize us and we feel a sense of pride. They say –  just look at what these women have achieved and the work they are doing… They have left the men behind.” Rani, 28, lives with her husband, two children,…

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7 things you might not know about child marriage

UNITED NATIONS, New York – Around the world, Valentine’s Day is a celebration of love, romance, and commitment. It’s an occasion, perhaps, to propose. But for millions, what should be a joyous moment is not the stuff of fairy tales. Too many women and girls are married off before…

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In this refugee camp, midwives have delivered over 14,000 babies with zero maternal deaths

ZAATARI CAMP, Jordan – “On my first day at work in the camp, I cried a lot. At that time, I had not worked with refugees before, and I had no idea about their conditions,” Ammoun Kitabi, a 58-year-old midwife, told UNFPA, at the reproductive health clinic in Zaatari…

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Supporting safe birth amid deteriorating situation in Afghanistan

DAIKUNDI, Afghanistan  The delivery of reproductive health services, including safe birth, was seriously affected by the worsening situation in Afghanistan. Najaba, 36, experienced firsthand how the dangers of pregnancy collided with rising insecurity. A mother of four from Zaradnay Village, Najaba visited the district hospital just before her…

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Midwives continue to deliver amid uncertainty in Afghanistan

NEW YORK, United Nations/Afghanistan – Even before the current humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, the maternal health situation. Pregnant women faced one of the highest maternal death rates in the world. Today, “humanitarian catastrophe looms”, said UNFPA’s Executive Director Dr. Natalia Kanem at a high-level meeting at United Nations Headquarters. Forty years of conflict, chronic poverty,…

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At high-level UN meeting, Afghan women call for support

UNITED NATIONS, New York – “My country is in a humanitarian crisis,” said Yalda Royan, an Afghan women’s rights advocate. She spoke ahead of a high-level meeting on the humanitarian crisis in Afghanistan, held at the United Nations on Monday. “Eighteen million Afghans are in need of humanitarian aid, the majority…

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Sailing to safety: UNFPA midwife performs miraculous boat delivery

An Incredible Journey One morning in July 2021, Zilkee was surprised when a panicked man burst into the health complex. “A pregnant woman is doing a delivery in a boat. Please come and help her,’’ he yelled. Zilkee is a midwife in the remote Bandarban District of Bangladesh….

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Tracking contraceptives improves health services and choice in Uganda

KAMPALA, Uganda – When Isirimu Margret got pregnant at 16, her hope to continue her studies vanished. She dropped out of school, married her partner, and had a child. So when the chance to obtain family planning counseling at her local health facility, supported by UNFPA, arose, she took…

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