SRH care services during humanitarian crisis in Eastern Europe and Central Asia

The Minimum Initial Service Package (MISP) for reproductive health (RH) is a coordinated set of priority activities designed to prevent excess morbidity and mortality, particularly among women and girls at the onset of humanitarian emergencies.

This report shows the overall results regarding the MISP for reproductive health preparedness in Eastern Europe and Central Asia as of today compared with 2014.

The main results show that there has been a significant improvement in the region from a fair level of preparedness in 2014 to a good level of preparedness in 2017. The most important achievements are linked to the establishment of national SRH working groups, which now exist in 16 countries. This is an extraordinary achievement, as this was one of the weakest areas in 2014. Improved coordination at the national level had an impact on several other areas, and the overall results reflect the importance of having coordination in place so as to be better prepared.

For the future, it will be essential to maintain this momentum and continue improving SRH preparedness in the region. The report includes some recommendations in this direction.

As the authors point out, we are also living at a unique time, when a light has been shone on sexual harassment and sexual violence against women and girls in developed and developing countries. In addition, refugees and migrants continue to arrive in Europe, fleeing war-ravaged countries. Although they are disappearing from the news, their situation has not improved enough in the region. Ensuring access to priority SRH services in every humanitarian crisis means making sure that everybody can receive life-saving SRH services. This includes preventing sexual violence and taking care of survivors. To ensure comprehensiveness, preparedness activities have to be enhanced to include, in a more systematic manner, adolescent girls and young female adults, unaccompanied children, LGBTI people and women and girls with disabilities or living with HIV, in line with the SDG pledge to “leave no one behind”.

MISP map