The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has appealed for USD 10.7 million to aid the 2 million women and girls in Sri Lanka that have been affected by the country's economic crisis.
2 million women and girls are currently affected by the economic crisis in #SriLanka.
— UNFPA (@UNFPA) August 8, 2022
Sri Lanka’s economic crisis has left the island with shortages of food, medicine, fuel and power. It has had a critical impact on the nation’s healthcare system.
The UNFPA highlights that this decline in healthcare “has severely impacted sexual and reproductive health services, including maternal healthcare and access to contraception.” According to the UN agency there is an estimated “60,000 pregnant women may require surgical interventions over the next six months.”
Additionally, the economic crisis has disrupted important services for survivors of gender-based violence. A UN survey from May reveals that “women and girls are increasingly more vulnerable to violence as access to healthcare, police, shelter, and hotlines is declining.”
As a part of its appeal, the UNFPA plans to provide “more than 30,000 women with cash and voucher assistance for reproductive health and protection services; ensure that 500,000 women receive information on warning signs during pregnancy; and strengthen the capacity of 1,250 midwives.”
UNFPA also plans to distribute medicines, equipment and supplies to meet the reproductive health needs of 1.2 million people. Furthermore, the agency has also stated that it would support livelihood programming for 12,500 women to reduce risks of gender-based violence.
The agency has also stated that it would provide menstrual hygiene supplies for 4,000 adolescent girls.
UNFPA representative in Sri Lanka, Kunle Adeniyi, states that the agency’s focus is “to strengthen sexual and reproductive health and gender-based violence response services to reduce the long-term repercussions of the current crisis.”
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