The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) is providing humanitarian assistance and reproductive health services and emergency reproductive health kits to the approximately 1.4 million women and girls affected by the flooding in Pakistan. The UNFPA estimates that 160,000 of these women are pregnant and approximately 440 women go into labor daily.
The UNFPA has established 50 mobile clinics, which “are offering basic emergency obstetric care services and basic primary health care to women and adolescent girls,” according to Dr. Shahnaz Shallwani, UNFPA Provincial Coordinator in Karachi. Nevertheless, the UNFPA noted difficulties in recruiting female health care providers to assist women in areas affected by the floods.
Dr. Shallwani indicated that the “UNFPA is also providing psycho-social and protection services to survivors of gender based violence.”
On October 5, the House Foreign Affairs Committee voted along party lines to pass a bill to defund the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). The vote was 23 to 17, with all 23 Republicans present voting to block US funding to UNFPA and all of the Democrats voting against the measure.