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Sana’a, 29 September 2022 – UNFPA, the United Nations sexual and reproductive health agency, welcomes a 9.4 million humanitarian contribution from the European Union (EU). The funding will assist nearly a million of the most vulnerable women, girls and displaced people in Yemen with emergency relief, life-saving reproductive health care and mental health services. The funds are critical for the continuation of these services at a time when UNFPA’s humanitarian response is being challenged by limited financing and growing humanitarian needs.


At present, an estimated 8.1 million women and girls of childbearing age require help accessing reproductive health services, including antenatal care, safe delivery services, postnatal care, family planning, and emergency obstetric and newborn care. Due to extreme shortages in      essential medicines, supplies and specialized staff, only 1 in 5 of the functioning health facilities is able to provide maternal and newborn care. Mental health care remains scarce, with an estimated 7 million people requiring mental health treatment and support. Some 4.3 million people have been displaced since the escalation of the conflict, a situation compounded by natural disasters linked to climate change.


“The EU will continue to stand by millions of Yemenis who need humanitarian aid after more than seven years of unresolved conflict and crisis. €9.4 million we announce today will help women, girls and displaced people access crucial healthcare,” said European Commissioner for Crisis Management, Janez Lenarčič. “We won’t let down vulnerable people who rely on us and our partnership with UNFPA to access vital health care and emergency assistance in their hour of need. I call on the parties to the conflict to facilitate unhindered access to those in need, particularly women and children”


With EU support, UNFPA will provide emergency obstetric and maternal health care in 52 health facilities and mental health services in two specialized psychological care centres. UNFPA will also support the distribution of emergency relief supplies among newly displaced persons through the UNFPA-led Rapid Response Mechanism.


The support of the European Union has been pivotal to UNFPA’s humanitarian response in Yemen, with nearly €47 million in financial contributions since 2018.


“Women and girls often pay the heaviest price in conflicts. In Yemen, more than half of the 4.3 million people displaced are women. They urgently need protection and reproductive health services,” said UNFPA Executive Director Dr. Natalia Kanem. UNFPA is grateful for the strong and steadfast support of the European Union for our work in Yemen, which helps us to deliver life-saving assistance to hundreds of thousands of women and girls.”


UNFPA is the sole provider of essential life-saving reproductive health medicines in Yemen and leads coordination and provision of women’s reproductive health and protection services across the country.