CAIRO– The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) estimates there are 540,000 women of reproductive age living in Gaza, among whom 50,000 are currently pregnant, and 5,500 are expected to deliver in the next month.
In a press release obtained here, it added ”These women face extreme challenges amid the siege, lacking not only access to safe delivery services and stocks-outs of life-saving supplies, but also, like all civilians in Gaza, refuge from bombardment and access to food and water.”
UNFPA continues to support reproductive health services, and through its partner, Sharek, is distributing hygiene kits in 49 shelters in south Gaza run by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East. Medications for pregnant women have been delivered to the Ministry of Health. Through partner Shubak il Shabab, UNFPA is additionally supporting counseling services via an emergency helpline.
UNFPA is also prepositioning supplies, including essential medicines, medical supplies and interagency reproductive health kits, on the border in order to urgently deliver aid when access is restored. However, efforts to negotiate a humanitarian corridor have so far been unsuccessful.