The IPPF Americas and Caribbean Team (ACRO), together with representatives of Member Associations from Colombia, Trinidad and Tobago, Peru, and Ecuador met in Bogota in March 2022 for a training on implementation of the Minimum Initial Service Package on Sexual and Reproductive Health in humanitarian settings and on addressing gender-based violence led by the IPPF Humanitarian Team. Nearly 40 participants had the opportunity to update their knowledge and learn about new approaches to implementing humanitarian responses in Sexual and Reproductive Health, as well as share their experiences with the implementation of humanitarian responses in the diverse regional context of the Americas and the Caribbean, with particular emphasis on the Venezuelan migration crisis.
During the training week, special relevance was given to the issue of coordinating efforts in humanitarian response with other allied actors as well as among the different IPPF Member Associations in the region because the Venezuelan migration crisis is a regional phenomenon. People from Venezuela, especially women, adolescents, and girls, are forced to leave their country due to the precarious economic situation, political instability, insecurity, lack of basic health care, and in other cases due to threats to their lives. They seek refuge in other countries in the region, with Colombia and Peru being the main destinations. Migrants, who travel through entire countries to reach their final destination, face enormous difficulties and barriers in accessing health services in general and sexual and reproductive health services in particular, as well as discrimination and stigma. That through the humanitarian response they access programs and services provided by IPPF Member Associations, including STI and HIV diagnosis and treatment services, family planning, safe abortion care, and survivors of gender-based violence.
IPPF Global and ACRO humanitarian team visit to key health care points for migrants from Venezuela.
The humanitarian team had the opportunity to visit the points where services are being provided as part of the humanitarian response to Venezuelan migration in the cities of Cúcuta and Santander, which allowed them to learn more about the ongoing response in Colombia, a country that as of January 2021 has received more than 1,700,000 migrants from the neighboring country, according to data from Migration Colombia.
IPPF's Humanitarian Program contributes to the consolidation of an innovative model for sexual and reproductive health and rights in crisis situations, connecting key elements of humanitarian action with long-term development. We are one of the world's largest providers of sexual and reproductive health services in emergencies.
Sexual and reproductive health and rights in crisis
The need for women's reproductive health care is not suspended in crises. A quarter of those affected by crises worldwide are women and girls between the ages of 15 and 49. One in five women is likely to be pregnant and one and five of all births will experience complications. In crisis settings, there is also an increased risk of child, early and forced marriages and unions, sexual violence, unsafe abortions, and unassisted childbirth. Transmission rates of STIs, including HIV, also increase in emergencies.
During crises, we work closely with our clinics on the ground to provide life-saving care to people in need. Our mobile health clinics bring comprehensive services to where they are needed by people affected by the crisis.