Humanitarian Action 2023 Overview

Around the world, 2022 saw deepening conflict, widespread hunger and major climate disasters. Today, more than 103 million people globally are refugees or forcibly displaced inside their country. The majority are women and children, many of whom are struggling to survive and face daily threats to their health, rights, safety and dignity.

When crisis strikes, women and girls face a heightened risk of sexual violence, exploitation and abuse. More girls drop out of school and harmful practices such as female genital mutilation and child marriage become more common as families struggle to meet basic needs. Access to services and support critical to women’s and girls’ health, survival and future is often disrupted or lacking altogether.

The increase in gender-based violence globally stems from multiple, overlapping crises, including the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and the interplay between displacement, conflict, and food insecurity. Despite soaring needs, services to tackle gender-based violence are heavily underfunded, leaving millions of women and girls without the lifesaving services they need.

In emergencies, the rights and choices of women and girls are far too often trampled on or sidelined. They can face limited access to sexual and reproductive health care, including family planning. Health facilities become inaccessible, destroyed or damaged beyond repair. For pregnant women lacking essential reproductive and maternal health care, childbirth can end in tragedy. With humanitarian needs expected to double by 2030, it is critical that sexual and reproductive health and gender-based violence protection services are integral to every humanitarian response.

UNFPA is on the ground providing humanitarian aid in more than 60 countries. We are expanding our capacity to deliver integrated sexual and reproductive health and gender-based violence services at health facilities and mobile clinics, and through women – and girl-friendly spaces. In 2022, UNFPA provided life-saving assistance to more than 30 million women, girls and young people, including services and supplies for emergency obstetric care to prevent maternal and newborn deaths, family planning and emergency contraception, prevention of and response to sexual violence, including the clinical management of rape.

Yet, needs are growing and gaps remain. In 2023, UNFPA is appealing for US$1.2 billion to provide life-saving services and protection to approximately 66 million women, girls, and young people in 65 countries.

Source: United Nations Population Fund