Women and Girls at Risk in Ukraine Emergency

Svetlana carries her 6-month-old baby across the border into Moldova. She is also caring for her two young children. Her husband, Sasha, is unable to leave Ukraine because of the war.

Numbers as of April 6, 2022

UNFPA is deeply concerned about the war in Ukraine. Over 10 million people – roughly a quarter of the Ukrainian population – have fled their homes. Nearly 6.5 million are forcibly displaced within Ukraine, over 4.2 million, mostly women and children, have fled to neighbouring countries like Moldova, Romania, Hungary, Slovakia, and Poland.

265,000 Ukrainian women are pregnant and 80,000 could give birth at any moment. These women need access to prenatal and safe delivery care. We are on the ground making sure women can survive childbirth, even in a subway station, basement, bomb shelter, or refugee camp.

And, as the humanitarian needs escalate, we need your support to reach vulnerable women and girls with lifesaving care.

UNFPA Moldova’s Representative, Nigina Abaszadeh, spoke about what life is like for Ukrainian women and girls in refugee placement camps.

Updates on the War in Ukraine

As of April 1, the World Health Organizaiton has confirmed 82 attacks on health facilities, including the March 11 bombing of a Ukrainian children’s hosptial and maternity ward. Current reports state that there were 17 victims and 3 deaths, including an infant and a girl. The UN is urgently investigating the matter and stated that health care facilities, hospitals, and health workers should not “ever, ever be a target.”

We continue to be on the ground, providing lifesaving care, including mental health support, to those surviving this humanitarian emergency. Mental health care remains urgently needed, as women experience high levels of stress from fear of the war, the loss of family, friends, and their homes, and family separation.

In Moldova, we are supporting Ukrainians in 70 refugee placement camps. We have distributed more than 5,000 dignity kits to women and girls in the placement camps and across Ukraine. The kits provide them with everything they need to manage their period, even in a time of immense uncertainty.

To ensure women can survive childbirth, we are positioning reproductive health emergency kits, which equip a midwife with supplies she needs to guide 45 pregnant women through safe deliveries. We have also deployed a mobile health clinic to meet sexual and reproductive health care needs in the hardest to reach areas. We continue to deliver essential medicines, supplies, and equipment for safe delivery care and obstetric emergencies. We are especially concerned about the potential for violence and are working to scale up support for survivors. Violence against women tends to increase during emergencies.

Our Work in Ukraine

For the last eight years, we have been reaching millions of women and girls living in the shadow of conflict in eastern Ukraine. This has taken a devastating toll on their wellbeing and further exposed them to violence and abuse. 

Even before then, we have been expanding access to lifesaving sexual and reproductive health care across Ukraine for decades. We have reached communities including girls living with disabilities, elderly women in difficult to reach areas, and survivors of violence. We are there for every woman and girl, delivering the care and support she needs.

People seek shelter inside the basement of a local police station after explosions at a military depot in Svatove in Luhansk region, Ukraine, October 30, 2015. At least two people were killed due to explosions at a local depot with more than 3,000 tons of munition, according to local media.

Now, as women and girls flee for safety, unsure of when or if they will be able to return home, your support is desperately needed.Pregnancy, birth, and menstruation do not stop for crises. A contribution today can ensure that a pregnant women have access to prenatal and safe delivery care, even while on the move. You can provide girls with menstrual products, even as this emergency restricts the supply of these products to her home town. And, you can deliver medical care and legal counsel to survivors of violence so they can rebuild their lives.  

Thank you for being there for every woman and girl in emergencies like Ukraine, no matter what.  

Dana Kirkegaard

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