Wednesday is World Population Day, and the United Nations Population Fund says reproductive health is crucial for development. Dr. Dhammika Perera, senior technical advisor for global reproductive health programs at the International Rescue Committee (IRC), said his organization believes that givin
Giving women in conflict or disaster-hit communities more control over when and whether to have children will be key to the success of global efforts to reduce maternal mortality in developing countries.
Sudan’s decades-long civil war has left South Sudan, which became an independent state last year, without a functioning health system or trained personnel. As a result, the new nation has one of the world’s highest rates of maternal mortality: More than 2,000 mothers die for every 100,000 live births.
An IRC signboard in Sierra Leone to raise awareness and change attitudes to fight violence against women. In partnership with the Sierra Leone police the ads are displayed at police stations across the country.
Last year, the IRC organized three fairs in Congo’s South Kivu Province, which continues to be marred by insecurity and large population displacements. More than 5,000 families—some who were forced from home by violence, others who have been sharing their homes with the uprooted—exchanged IRC vouchers for basic items they need to rebuild their lives. The fairs, sponsored by UNICEF, also gave local merchants business, providing an important economic boost to the region.