UNITED NATIONS Population Fund (UNFPA), has taken another step to ensure that the sexual and reproductive health and rights needs of women and girls, men and boys and other vulnerable populations are prioritized in emergency settings in the Caribbean. On Wednesday last week, the organization launched guidelines that will support shelter managers and emergency co-ordinators to reduce the risk of gender-based violence and integrate essential actions for the provision of integrated sexual and reproductive health services in emergency shelters, the agency said in a release.
All Caribbean countries are prone to natural disasters and during these emergencies, women and men, boys and girls seek shelter; a safe space where specific health and protection needs should be ensured. UNFPA will continue to provide direct support to national partners to prevent sexual and other forms of violence; prevent the transmission of HIV and other Sexually Transmitted Infections; prevent excess maternal and new-born morbidity and mortality; and prevent unintended pregnancies in emergency settings, as stated by Seth Broekman,
UNFPA Deputy Director.
The virtual launch was attended by more than 130 government and civil society representatives and included a presentation by LaFleur Quammie from the Ministry of National Mobilization, St Vincent and the Grenadines, who outlined the shelter management experiences after the eruption of LaSoufriere volcano in April this year and explained how gender-based violence and sexual and reproductive health were taken into consideration in the recovery efforts.
The publication can be accessed on the UNFPA Caribbean website using this link https:// caribbean.unfpa.org/en/ publications/integration- sexual-and-reproductive- health-and-gender- based-violence-considerations.