ISLAMABAD: The UN Population Fund (UNFPA) is actively seeking to bridge a funding gap of $17 million to re-establish the basic and comprehensive reproductive health services and set up safe spaces for women and young girls as part of the recovery phase.
The UNFPA has appealed for $29 million as part of the Pakistan Floods Emergency Response Plan launched on September 17. Around $12 million of this amount has been mobilised through the generous support from USAID, DfID, CIDA, the Governments of Norway, Japan, New Zealand, the McArthur Foundation and the Central Emergency Relief Fund (CERF). This includes $3 million from UNFPA’s own resources.
The funds received are being used for life-saving comprehensive maternal, neonatal and child health care. They will also be used to prevent and respond to gender-based violence and provide much-needed hygiene supplies and psychosocial support services for women, young girls and adolescents through the end of 2011.
Working closely with government authorities and NGO partners, UNFPA is providing reproductive health care in 20 out of 81 flood-hit districts across Pakistan. It will be scaling up its efforts in the coming weeks to eight more districts.
According to UNFPA, most of the women have more than seven children and are delivering in more in the camps or nearby facilities. “For some of the women, camps gave them better access to health services than they used to have in remote areas. This is an opportunity to educate them,” said UNFPA’s Director, Asia and the Pacific Regional Office, Bangkok, Nobuko Horibe, on her visit to Pakistan last week.
The UNFPA estimates that some 400,000 women are pregnant at this moment among the 20 million food-hit population. Nearly 50,000 of them are expected to give birth within the next month, with approximately 7,500 needing surgery to handle pregnancy-related complications.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 27th, 2010.
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