CATASTROPHE IN YEMEN: As COVID-19 rages, UNFPA provides care despite funding shortfalls

Earlier this year, Mariam, a pregnant mother of four, had been receiving free prenatal care at Bani Shamakh, a UNFPA-supported facility in Yemen. When she arrived one day in May, bleeding heavily, maternal health services were no longer available.

Mariam hemorrhaged to death.


It has been more than three years since the Trump administration stopped U.S. government support of UNFPA—and women like Mariam are paying for this policy with their lives.

Perhaps nowhere is the situation more tragic than in Yemen, our world’s worst humanitarian crisis. Now, COVID-19 has put people in even greater jeopardy. Funding cuts have forced UNFPA to shutter 140 of its 180 facilities. Those that remain open are struggling to provide care and serve as pandemic frontline responders.

Despite the challenges and the tragedies, UNFPA is saving lives in Yemen, where the agency has cared for more than 1.3 million women and girls this year including Eltaf. She was in labor and bleeding heavily when she reached Al-Shael, a UNFPAsupported health center.

Although Al-Shael was only equipped to provide basic services, “I was afraid that Eltaf and her baby would die before reaching the hospital. My team and I made a decision to save them at all costs,” says Dr. Eshraq, the attending Ob/Gyn.

After stopping the bleeding, Dr. Eshraq and her staff safely delivered Eltaf’s baby. “It is like a miracle, given the resources we have,” she says.

Through your support, you have proven that Americans will help, even when their government turns its back on our world’s most vulnerable people.

With your continued generosity, health care workers like Dr. Eshraq will do everything in their power to care for women and girls. And in memory of women like Mariam, we will work to create more miracles like Eltaf’s safe delivery.

Dana Kirkegaard
Your support helps UNFPA care for women and girls when they need it most.

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