In 2020, UNFPA witnessed the greatest humanitarian crisis since the organization’s creation 52 years ago: the COVID-19 pandemic. This public health catastrophe brought with it socioeconomic, political and human rights crises, doubling the global need for humanitarian assistance from the previous year. Women and girls bore many of the worst impacts.
But UNFPA rose to the challenge. With ingenuity and flexibility, we ramped up distribution of personal protective equipment and training in infectious disease control. Many disrupted programmes and services were restored, and 74 per cent of UNFPA programme countries were able to maintain or expand family planning services at the community level.
The crisis is far from over. We know the road ahead will be long and hard. But we also know that we can deliver progress even amid world-shaking adversity. With solidarity and support, we can transform the future for women and girls.