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UN population fund seeks urgent aid for women and girls amid Haiti’s escalating crisis

Posted: Saturday, August 5, 2023. 2:44 pm CST.

By Zoila Palma Gonzalez:  Haiti is currently grappling with a humanitarian crisis amplified by intensifying gang violence, leading the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to call for urgent support for the country’s women and girls, who are bearing the brunt of the crisis.

Almost half of the Haitian population is in need of humanitarian assistance and protection, with the crisis being further exacerbated by political instability, economic and climate disruptions, hunger, and poverty. Women and girls have been disproportionately affected, with violence against them and gang activities rising alarmingly.

“Rape is being used by gangs as a tool to terrorize and subjugate populations, resulting in a shocking number of women and girls fleeing their homes. These individuals are now living in makeshift shelters, without access to basic services, and remain vulnerable to sexual exploitation and abuse. Reports have even surfaced of women giving birth without any medical assistance,” the UNFPA disclosed.

Compounding the crisis, Haiti’s healthcare system is on the verge of collapse, leaving pregnant women, breastfeeding mothers, and young girls struggling to access services crucial for their health, well-being, and survival.

The UNFPA is working in conjunction with local partners to provide critical reproductive health and protection services to women and girls. These efforts include the deployment of mobile clinics, the creation of safe spaces for women and girls, community medical agents, outreach teams, and midwives.

For 2023, the UN agency is appealing for $9.75 million to ensure that women, girls, and survivors of violence can access the reproductive health and protection support they critically need in the face of Haiti’s worsening humanitarian crisis.

 

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