Finland supports sexual and reproductive health services for women and girls in Somalia
Finland’s additional support will help the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) provide mobile health services, safe births and family planning for women who have been forced from their homes by the drought and food crisis in Somalia.
Somalia’s humanitarian situation has significantly worsened this year. The country is suffering from a severe food crisis driven by drought. Nearly half of the population, about 7.8 million people, need humanitarian assistance.
More than one million people have been forced to abandon their homes. Most of them are women and children. The UNFPA estimates that some 200,000 pregnant women have fled their homes.
Finland’s additional support of EUR 1.5 million will be channelled to helping displaced women and girls across a wide geographical area in Somalia. The UNFPA’s mobile clinics deliver healthcare to hard-to-reach areas.
Finland’s support will help arrange safe births and address pregnancy complications. The UNFPA provides teenage girls and women of reproductive age family planning and health information based on human rights. Finland’s support will help arrange health services for women and girls who have survived gender-based violence and provide them with psychosocial first aid and counselling.
The drought has been getting worse in Somalia this year with several consecutive failed rainy seasons. The severe drought and the humanitarian crisis increase the risk of women and girls falling victims of gender-based violence and aggravates access to sexual and reproductive health services.
The crisis exposes women and girls to unplanned pregnancies and dangerous abortions. Access to information on reproductive health and to health services worsens, too. The devastating drought threatens the lives of women and girls as the risk of women and girls falling victims of gender-based violence and sexual abuse increase in refugee camp conditions.
Finland has been supporting the UNFPA’s country programme in Somalia since 2017. Finland’s support will total EUR 25 million during the funding period from 2021 to 2025.
In 2022, Finland will allocate a total of EUR 25 million to humanitarian efforts in the Horn of Africa.
- Jukka Pajarinen, Director, Unit for the Horn of Africa and Eastern Africa, tel. +358 295 350 848
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