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Sana’a, Yemen, 8 September 2022 – The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID)’s Bureau for Humanitarian Assistance announced a contribution of US$7 million to UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, to provide emergency relief and life-saving reproductive health and protection services to nearly half a million vulnerable women and girls in Yemen over the next 12 months.


The health and protection needs of women and girls in Yemen are rising. An estimated 8.1 million women and girls of childbearing age require help accessing reproductive health services, while only 1 in 5 of the functioning health facilities are able to provide maternal and child health services.


The disintegration of protection mechanisms has resulted in an estimated 6.5 million women and girls requiring services to prevent and address gender-based violence. However, such services remain overstretched across Yemen, and completely absent in some hard-to-reach areas.


Some 4.3 million people have been displaced since the escalation of the conflict, a situation compounded by natural disasters linked to climate change, with over 300,000 people displaced since April 2022 due to torrential rains and flooding. 


The USAID funding will help increase access to reproductive health and protection services for women and girls in areas where needs are most severe. More specifically, the funding will allow UNFPA to provide emergency obstetric and maternal health care in eight hospitals and four mobile health clinics. Six women and girls’ safe spaces will be supported to provide psychosocial care, livelihood opportunities and referral for legal aid and medical services. Mental health services will be supported through specialized psychiatric care centres. The new funding will also help the delivery of immediate, life-saving supplies to families on the move as they flee conflict or natural disasters, through support to the UNFPA-led Rapid Response Mechanism.


“The contribution from USAID could not be more timely as lack of funding continues to critically undermine life-saving services for women and girls,” said UNFPA’s Representative in Yemen, Mr. Nestor Owomuhangi. “This generous support will enable UNFPA to continue delivering lifesaving assistance and ensure that Yemeni women and girls furthest left behind are able to obtain the protection and reproductive health services they urgently need.”


UNFPA requires US$66 million over the next three months to fund its life-saving response for the reproductive health and protection of women and girls in Yemen. UNFPA leads the coordination and provision of women’s reproductive health and protection services across the country.