KENYA—The United Nations Population Fund, UNFPA, and the Kenya Red Cross have jointly launched the distribution of life-saving sexual and reproductive health products.
This comes after the El Nino floods that hit the country in late 2023, hurting over 500,000 people, including 58,000 pregnant and lactating mothers.
The recent climate-related calamities, such as the catastrophic drought and floods that swept through many parts of Kenya, have had a significant impact on the lives of women and girls.
These calamities have worsened gaps in maternal healthcare, family planning, and the safety of those who are most vulnerable to gender-based violence.
This critical help includes 174,000 different reproductive health and hygiene kits.
The materials delivered will help to support ongoing flood relief operations in Garissa, Mandera, Tana River, Wajir, Isiolo, Samburu, and other impacted counties.
According to the most recent Kenya Red Cross El-Nino Floods Operation Response report, 139,071 families have been impacted by the El-Nino floods, with 69,519 households relocated as a result of heavy rainfall.
Currently, 5,521 households are displaced in camps scattered over Tana-River, Garissa, Mandera, Kisumu, and Migori counties.
According to UNFPA Humanitarian Specialist John Wafula, the issues faced during catastrophes include restricted or unavailable sexual and reproductive health care, which leads to more women giving birth without medical support.
He highlighted that the items they are displaying, which include sexual and reproductive health medicines and supplies, as well as dignity kits containing items such as sanitary towels, will assist displaced women and girls of reproductive age in maintaining proper hygiene and meeting their menstrual health requirements.
The donated supplies, financed by UNFPA with donations from the UN Central Emergency Response Fund and the Japanese government, are a key step toward meeting the impacted communities’ immediate needs.
During Kenya’s drought emergency in 2023, UNFPA contributed US$ 2.8 million for life-saving sexual and reproductive health and gender-based violence programs, with the goal of strengthening community resilience.
As the organization continues to respond to the present flood situation, a budget of US$2.2 million has been set aside for the 2024 humanitarian response, with an emphasis on sexual and reproductive health and protection requirements in Arid and Semi-Arid Lands (ASAL) counties.