Browse by Theme: Sexual Reproductive & Maternal Health

An investigation into the UN data on donor aid to emergency appeals for 17 countries in crisis.

In 2013, after years of silence on the issue of gender-based violence, the international community has finally sat up and taken notice of what many NGOs on the ground including CARE have been saying – that sexual violence in and after war and disaster needs to be tackled, both in terms of prevention, and direct assistance to women in the immediate and longer term.

In October 2013, the Secretary of State for International Development was asked how much of their department's funding for the Syria emergency is currently being used for (a) gender-based violence prevention, (b) gender-based violence case management and (c) sexual and reproductive health in (i) Syria and (ii) neighbouring countries.

The Secretary of State answered that it is not possible to detail accurately the overall amount of funding because in most cases they are integrated within wider programmes providing healthcare, livelihoods support and protection.

We decided to investigate the wider question ourselves, not just relating to Syria but also 16 other countries under the Consolidated Appeals Process (CAP).

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A recent WHO study re-confirmed that Pakistan has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world (nearly 300 women die for every 100,000 births) and many of them are under 20 years old. Despite the challenging political, economic and social context, sixteen parliamentarians from the main four provinces in Pakistan have recently promised to include sexual and reproductive health needs in their provincial health plans.

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A recent WHO study re-confirmed that Pakistan has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world (nearly 300 women die for every 100,000 births) and many of them are under 20 years old. Despite the challenging political, economic and social context, sixteen parliamentarians from the main four provinces in Pakistan have recently promised to include sexual and reproductive health needs in their provincial health plans.

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In February 2012 CARE Pakistan started a project titled: 'Advocating for improved maternal newborn health (MNH) and sexual reproductive health (SRH) policy and practice for adolescent girls and young mothers (AIMS).' Implemented in partnership with Rahnuma-Family Planning Association of Pakistan (FPAP), this 14 month initiative combined evidence based research with targeted advocacy to successfully bring about changes in Pakistan's policies regarding MHN and SRH for adolescent girls and young mothers.

The AIMS project aimed to increase awareness regarding the specific reproductive and sexual health needs of adolescent girls and young mothers, and to advocate for their inclusion in provincial health policies. CARE and FPAP used evidence from the project's research to design a targeted advocacy strategy and to engage with key stakeholders including provincial parliamentarians, district officials, community leaders, civil society and media representatives, through a structured process of meetings, workshops and consultations. This is one of the outcomes of the project's research component.

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Along with a delegation from CARE International UK, I recently visited colleagues at CARE Peru (or Cah-Rey Peru as its pronounced in Spanish!) to witness how they are reaping real results in tackling the challenges of poverty and inequality in a ‘Middle Income Country’ (MIC).

A MIC is defined by the World Bank as any country with a Gross National Income per capita above $1000. The EU, UK and other donors are busy cutting aid to these countries,  arguing that in times of austerity development aid should be only be spent in Low Income Countries.

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Published to coincide with the 2012 Family Planning Summit, which saw states agreeing to tackle the fact that 200m women do not have acces to family planning. This report argues that increased supplies of contraception are not enough. Two critical factors - changing social norms and holding authorities accountable for quality services, are whats needed to really ensure more women receive the family planning they deserve.

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