SWOP 2015: Moldova is prepared to ensure protection of women and girls in the event of a major disaster
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3 December 2015

The health needs of women and adolescents are too often neglected in humanitarian response to natural disasters and conflicts around the world, even though whether women and girls live or die in a crisis often depends on access to basic sexual and reproductive health services like midwives and HIV prevention, says the State of World Population (SWOP 2015) released today by UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund.

The State of World Population (SWOP) 2015, “Shelter from the Storm,” shows that of the 100 million people in need of humanitarian assistance around the world today, about 26 million are women and adolescent girls in their childbearing years. Women and girls are often among those most affected. Three fifths of maternal deaths today occur in countries that are considered fragile because of conflict or disaster. Pregnancy and childbirth kill 507 women every day in these settings.

The good news is that, though Moldova is located close to a seismically active area and the unresolved conflict over the status of Transnistria continues to be a source of instability, according to the SOWP 2015 assessment, Moldova is well prepared to ensure protection of women and girls in terms of reproductive health. “Over the years, UNFPA has assisted in building capacity and knowledge of the Ministry of Health and other line institutions in this field”, says UNFPA Representative in Moldova Ian McFarlane.

However, at the individual level crisis and vulnerability of women and girls in Moldova still exists. On a daily basis, women and girls of Moldova face risks in terms of their health and safety. While Moldova is well prepared to ensure protection of women and girls in the event of a major disaster, more needs to be done to overcome everyday obstacles to reproductive health and sexual rights for all.

Ian McFarlane declared that “Along with our national partners in Moldova, we still need to work on guaranteeing equity and rights for all, to end unwanted pregnancy, to reduce sexually transmitted infections, including HIV, and responding holistically to domestic violence.  The adoption of the new Sustainable Development Goals by Moldova provides an imperative to tackle these issues and ensure that that no one is left behind”.

The risks and vulnerabilities for women and girls in our crisis-prone world are disproportionately high. The services and support available to them are disproportionately low.

The 2015 SWOP “Shelter from the Storm: A transformative agenda for women and girls in a crisis-prone world” sets out three key actions that need to be taken to step up support for millions left behind everywhere.

First, meet all acute need and recognize that women’s health and rights can no longer be treated as an afterthought in conflict settings. Whether women live or die in a crisis depends on whether they can get sexual and reproductive health services.

Second, step up investments in prevention and preparedness to mitigate the impact of future crises. Today, only 5 cents of every humanitarian dollar goes to prevention and preparedness.

Third, invest in resilience of governments, institutions, communities and individuals. One path to resilience is through development that is inclusive and equitable and that respects and protects everyone’s rights, including reproductive rights and the right to sexual health.

For the full texts of the reports, please access:

SWOP 2015 Global report: The State of World Population 2015, Shelter from the Storm: A transformative agenda for women and girls in a crisis-prone world

SWOP 2015 Regional overview: Addressing the Needs of Women and Girls in Humanitarian Emergencies in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

SWOP 2015 Moldova factsheet: Moldova - Ensuring Access to Live-saving Reproductive Health Services in Humanitarian Crises

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