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Dec 09, 2020 / 05:52

UNFPA extends support to vulnerable women in Vietnam

The assistance is aimed to protect women and girls at risk of gender-based violence in crisis.

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)’s sexual and reproductive health agency has intensified its support to help Vietnam’s women meet special health needs in aid worth US$1.34 million.

 UNFPA Vietnam hands over dignity kits to women in affected areas. Photo: UNFPA Vietnam

UNFPA in Vietnam on December 7 announced additional US$800,000 available from the UN Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to secure immediate support for women and girls in flood-affected areas.

The assistance is aimed to provide thousands of dignity kits to women who experience or are at risk of gender-based violence (GBV) in eight provinces and the central ciy of Danang that were affected by severe floods in October.

In November, Ms. Naomi Kitahara, UNFPA Representative in Vietnam handed over the dignity kits to female farmers in affected areas.

The severe flooding from prolonged downpours and successive typhoons in early October claimed more than 200 deaths and caused impact on at least 5.5 million people in the region, including over 1.3 million women of reproductive age and more than 92,000 pregnant women.

The situation has prompted emergency aid by the UNFPA with an aim to protect women and girls who are at risk of being exposed to violence and abuse in crisis as well as ensure sexual and reproductive health protection.

The UNFPA funding and support include mobile and outreach health care clinics, the distribution of dignity kits with essential hygiene items, provision of vital maternal health equipment and supplies such as the Doppler Fetal Heart Rate Detector.

In addition, UNFPA is introducing communication materials to affected locations on how to manage pregnancy and child birth, how to respond to gender-based violence, and where to seek help particularly when faced with domestic violence.

“When emergencies like this strike, life changes in a moment. This natural disaster has already destroyed thousands of homes and forced people to flee. Women and girls are among the most vulnerable. Women do not need to die giving birth, and this must hold true even in emergencies,” said Ms. Naomi Kitahara, UNFPA Representative in Vietnam.

“While fleeing, people are in need of basic necessities – ranging from food and water to hygienic supplies and medical care. UNFPA is striving to assist the government of Vietnam in restoring and improving the lives of the flood victims, particularly the most vulnerable,” she added.