UNFPA Arab States Regional Director, Ms. Laila Baker, echoes the Secretary-General’s statement welcoming the ceasefire in Gaza and Israel, and extends our deepest condolences to the victims of the violence and their loved ones.
The lives of women and girls in Gaza are at increased risk as a result of the recent escalation, and the closure of access beforehand. UNFPA estimates that there are 46,000 pregnant women in Gaza, of which an estimated 15,000 will give birth over the next three months. The sexual and reproductive health (SRH) needs of these women have become even more acute. As part of a coordinated UN response – UNFPA is focused on the immediate priority of supporting the continuation of services, replenishing supplies and ensuring full and safe access for women to SRH services, information, and counseling at all levels.
Women and girls are also at a higher risk of gender-based violence (GBV) following the escalation. The UN estimates that 614,000 people are in need of GBV multisectoral services in Gaza overall. In addition to the affected GBV survivors, GBV service providers, including frontline workers, have been directly affected. There is a critical need for mental health and psychosocial support for all affected by the violence. UNFPA is coordinating with partners to provide remote mental health and psychosocial support services to the women and girls most in need.