The Power of your Contribution during COVID-19
The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed numerous vulnerabilities in health care systems around the world. We have seen how our most vulnerable populations are left behind, how reliance on international manufacturers has limited the supply of all sorts of goods, including essential contraceptives, how misinformation can affect the containment of a public health crisis, and what happens when a disaster, like the Beirut explosion, coincides with a pandemic.
Despite these weaknesses, there is hope.
Many countries have found ways to successfully contain COVID-19. This has led to people in need of care being less afraid to receive the treatment they need. Potential vaccines are being tested. And all over the world, people have rallied to support their families, neighbors, and communities.
At USA for UNFPA, generous donor support has allowed women and girls to access the lifesaving reproductive health care that is their right, even during the COVID-19 pandemic.
What your dollar can mean to her:
Fatoumata, a woman who lives with a disability
In the Gambia, Fatoumata struggles to find accessible hygiene products. In her region only half of households have access to modern sanitation. Access to clean water and hygiene supplies are essential for limiting the spread of coronavirus. Just $15 can send one UNFPA dignity kit to women like Fatoumata. In the Gambia, UNFPA distributed 300 kits. The kits contained items like soap, laundry detergent, a towel, a sponge, deodorant, underwear, and sanitary pads.
Frantzia, a pregnant woman
Frantzia, in Haiti, was four-months pregnant and afraid to go to a clinic for prenatal care. She didn’t know what would happen to her or her pregnancy if she caught coronavirus. Luckily, midwives showed Frantzia how to protect herself from the virus, including frequent handwashing. Contributions from USA for UNFPA supports helped UNFPA distribute 2300 handwashing stations around Haiti so pregnant women like Frantzia can stay safe and healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Maria Rosca, an elderly person
The COVID-19 pandemic has left elderly people highly vulnerable to infection and death. Those without access to their normal health care are especially at risk. Further, the elderly are more vulnerable to poverty and isolation during the pandemic.
For example, Maria Rosca has been alone for months. She said, “I keep the TV and the radio on to feel like I’m not alone in the house.” In Moldova, where she lives, UNFPA has begun a volunteer program aimed at alleviating the harms of isolation. Volunteers, like Nelea, go through psychosocial and disease control trainings. Then, volunteers engage in activities like socially distant walks with elderly people in their community. Donations from USA for UNFPA supporters can help UNFPA meet the needs of elderly people like Maria Rosca.
Shaina, a girl
Even though girls are not a high-risk group for coronavirus, the consequences of the virus are impacting girls. UNFPA predicts that there will be 13 million additional cases of child marriage because of COVID-19. Further, 2 million more cases of female genital mutilation are also expected.
Shaina, a teenager and advocate in the Philippines, works to educate girls on the risks of early pregnancy. There, nearly 1 in 5 girls is married as a child. Child marriage is closely linked with early pregnancy, which globally, is the leader killer of girls 15-19 years old. Gifts to USA for UNFPA can provide girls, like Shaina and her peers, with comprehensive sexuality education. Sexuality education, paired with family planning resources, empowers girls to plan their futures and meet their goals.
Maghul, a survivor of gender-based violence
Maghul’s 7th birthday was sadly also her engagement party. Years later, Maghul would be a mother of six, a widow, and a survivor of gender-based violence. She felt hopeless and unable to provide for her family. In Afghanistan, UNFPA has been able to maintain 27 family protection centers, which provide treatment to survivors of violence. Maghul said, “For the first time in my lifetime, I am feeling happy and enjoying my life.” USA for UNFPA supports women-friendly safe spaces. Similar to family health centers, safe spaces provide care including mental health counseling, family planning, and more.
Diala, who lived through the Lebanon blast
The explosion in the Port of Beirut startled the world. An already strained healthcare systems had to grapple with COVID-19, an influx of injuries, and confusion around what had happened. UNFPA was there with mobile health clinics providing care for the people of Lebanon. Diala, who was injured in the blast, said, “This is my second visit to the clinic to change the bandage on my wound. They have all I need here. I do not have to go to a hospital to do it.” Contributions have gone toward bandages, contraceptives, and other supplies for emergencies, so women like Diala have the care they need, when they need it.
Your dollar can go a long way for women and girls. From providing bandages and dignity kits to midwifery training and handwashing stations, your support can change lives.