Minister for Development Cooperation, Ulla Tørnæs, has signed a Letter of Intent regarding a Danish donation of 60 million DKK to the UN World Food Programme’s, WFP’s, work with women’s and girls’ access to contraception in humanitarian crisis.
WFP’s primary task is distribution of food, but there are many advantages by using the distribution of food in connection with other organizations’ work, especially when it comes to contraception and information on sexual health.
“It is usually the women whom are send to collect food, when WFP distributes. It is common sense to offer them information on sexual health as well. We are going to use the meeting by the distribution points to, at the same time, accommodate this life important need women have for access to sexual and reproductive healthcare benefits and information on contraception,” says the Minister for Development Cooperation Ulla Tørnæs.
Access to family planning and contraception is lifesaving. UNs population fund, UNFPA, estimates that between 25-50 percent of maternal mortalities in refugee camps are caused by complications due to unsafe abortions. Evaluations has shown a demand for contraception amongst women in humanitarian crises, but these activities are often a low priority or not available at all.
“Women’s and girl’s needs and rights are too often neglected in violent conflict and crisis, even though they are more vulnerable than men. Therefore, I am happy that we from Danish side can contribute support to new methods to enhance the effort, especially for women’s health,” says the Minister for Development Cooperation.
The inspiration for the fund of 60 million DKK comes from a Danish financed pilot project in Ethiopia, where the UNFPA in cooperation with WFP’s food distribution reaches internally displaced women, who otherwise would not have access to family planning.
It is important that better coherence be created between UN’s short-term humanitarian efforts and the long-term development efforts. The UN has multiple affiliated organizations, foundations and programs, whom does not always communicate sufficiently. Minister for Development Cooperation has continuously put to focus the need for UN-organizations to collaborate closely, so that we to a greater level can fight crisis and poverty.
The Danish fund of 60 Million DKK will make it possible to develop and strengthen partnerships and methods, which will advance women’s and girl’s protection and rights with a starting point in food assistance.
For further information, please contact press adviser Karen Clement on tel.: + 45 22 61 09 68