Sana’a, 4 October 2020 – The Kingdom of Netherlands has contributed USD 7 million to UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, to provide life-saving emergency reproductive health medicines and supplies across all the 333 districts of Yemen in the next four years.
The health system, particularly for reproductive health is collapsing, made worse by COVID-19 which continues to spread swiftly across the country with far reaching consequences on women and girls. Nearly half of all health facilities have been forced to close or partially functioning.
Only 20 per cent of the health facilities provide maternal and child health services. Essential reproductive health medicines and contraceptives are often out of stock compelling women to purchase from the open market. This lack of access to maternal and new-born life-saving medicines, including contraceptives, puts the lives of women and girls at significant risk. “The Kingdom of Netherlands has been a longstanding development partner of Yemen for over 40 years, said Peter-Derrek Hof, the Dutch Ambassador to Yemen.
“We are committed to improving the health of women and girls, especially their reproductive health. This contribution to UNFPA will ensure the continuity of critical reproductive health commodities and supplies across the country and help to boost access of women to these life-saving commodities.”
The new contribution will support the procurement of contraceptives and life-saving medicines that are needed to prevent major causes of maternal and new-born deaths in Yemen. It will also help to strengthen the supply chain and logistical systems that are needed to improve reproductive healthcare in the country.
The Kingdom of Netherlands has been a key contributor towards reproductive health commodity security in Yemen. In the past two years, the Kingdom of Netherland’s support has contributed to the reduction in stock-outs of essential reproductive health medicines and helped to reach over 300,000 women with contraceptives.
“This timely contribution from the Kingdom of Netherlands will serve as a lifeline for millions of women and girls in Yemen, at a time when many of them are being internally displaced, facing increasing reproductive health needs, and at heightened risk of contracting COVID-19,” said Nestor Owomuhangi, UNFPA’s Representative to Yemen.
“As a direct result of this contribution, we will witness fewer maternal and new-born deaths, and reduced unwanted pregnancies across the country.” UNFPA is the single source of essential reproductive health medicines for the country at present, and provides over 90 per cent of the contraceptives used in public facilities throughout the country.
Nearly 70 per cent of UNFPA’s reproductive health programme in Yemen has been suspended since May 2020 due to a shortage of funding. To keep reaching the most vulnerable women and girls, UNFPA requires US$100.5 million in 2020. To date, only 62 per cent of funding has been received.