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Improving care and dignity for South Sudanese women

Nairobi, 10 May, 2014  — “The challenges we face in South Sudan are grave and we have a moral and humanitarian obligation to deliver lifesaving services to all the women and girls affected by the crisis.”

UNFPA Regional Director, Dr. Julitta Onabanjo, made this remark today at the end of a one-day strategic meeting with UNFPA high level staff from Ethiopia, Kenya, South Sudan, Sudan, Uganda and the regional office to develop a more comprehensive approach to ensure better care and dignity for South Sudanese women and girls affected by the crisis. 

The meeting was aimed at galvanizing a regional approach to the current crisis in South Sudan and neighbouring countries by ensuring that UNFPA country teams are engaged in a well-coordinated humanitarian response.

UNFPA is appealing for $25 million (Kshs. 2.125 billion) to provide critical assistance for an estimated 740,000 internally displaced persons (IDPs) in South Sudan and close to 200,000 South Sudanese refugees in the four neighbouring countries. 

Addressing the crisis

To date, UNFPA has provided reproductive health supplies to affected populations in the South Sudan crisis to reduce pregnancy-related complications and deaths and gender-based violence. This includes vials of Oxytocin, which will serve more than 500 delivering mothers, and IV fluid sets and vials of IV antibiotics; clean delivery kits and rape treatment kits. 

As preparedness measures for possible flooding with the onset of the rainy season, UNFPA South Sudan, together with other humanitarian organizations, last month placed emergency reproductive health supplies in flood-prone regions of the country. This will ensure that critical services will continue to be available throughout the year to vulnerable populations. During the rainy season up to 60 per cent of areas in South Sudan become inaccessible, a situation that would compromise the scaling up of the humanitarian response to the crisis.

UNFPA is also providing medical supplies and equipment to all 10 states for reproductive health needs of affected population. To date, 36 assorted Emergency Reproductive Health Kits and bulk commodities have been dispatched to Rumbek, Wau,  Awiel, Kwajok as well as to Juba.

UNFPA is also reaching out to young people in the camps to help them make informed choices to help protect them from sexually transmitted diseases and prevent unwanted pregnancies. The organisation is training groups of young people selected from each of the country’s 10 states to become peer educators and share information on reproductive health and HIV prevention with other young people in the camps.

At the regional level, UNFPA promotes evidence, knowledge and innovation through integrated technical assistance to the country. In this regard, the Regional Office is learning important lessons from the South Sudan response in order to disseminate lessons within the region and the entire organisation.


UNFPA works to deliver a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled.

For more information, please contact

1.       Susan Karuoya, Senior Communication officer, UNFPA, Kenya, +254 20 762 6705/+254 722227497

2.       Lindsay Barnes, Regional Communications Analyst, United Nations Population Fund, East and Southern Africa Regional Office, Johannesburg. Tel: +27 11 603 5329; Cell: +27 84 8118163;

3.       Adebayo Fayoyin, Regional Communications Adviser, United Nations Population Fund, East and Southern Africa Regional Office, Johannesburg. Tel: +27 11 603 5348; Cell: +27 79 517 0320;