Update from the Taskforce

Message from IPPF’s Humanitarian Director

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to cause great uncertainty and disruption for us all. It is changing the way we live and work, right across the world. However, it is not impacting everyone equally. As is the case in all crises, we know that it is the most vulnerable who will bear the brunt of it. That is why it is so crucial that IPPF continue our lifesaving work: ensuring Member Associations can continue to operate safely and effectively is our number one priority. 

Now, as ever, IPPF is committed to leading a locally owned, globally connected movement. Around the world, we’re seeing the situation develop differently across nations and communities and it is important that our responses are locally appropriate and leverage Member Associations’ specific strengths.

To get a better understanding of the situation on the ground, the Taskforce conducted a rapid-response survey with Member Associations, examining the impact that COVID-19 is having on their work, staff and communities.

Overall, 121 Member Associations completed the survey across all six regions.  The impact of COVID-19 on our work is evident. 66% of Member Associations reported a decrease in the number of service delivery points since the outbreak, with community-based distribution and mobile clinics being the most affected. 12 Member Associations reported having to either suspend or terminate staff. 36% of Member Associations are experiencing shortages of key SRH commodities, predominantly around contraception. Access to safe abortion and HIV-related medicines, which is a challenge during stable times, is getting more difficult.

The results from this survey are guiding the Taskforce’s work and our response to COVID-19. Our number one priority is ensuring that Member Associations can continue to deliver lifesaving sexual and reproductive healthcare, in a setting that is safe for our staff and clients. The Taskforce is developing technical guidance on service delivery during COVID-19 and proactively strengthening our supply chains for crucial commodities and resources, as well as seeking new ways to obtain stock. Additionally, we are developing strong communications and advocacy messaging to ensure that sexual and reproductive health is recognised around the world as a crucial part of the pandemic response.

While this is a time of great challenge and uncertainty, it is important that we also see the opportunities within the challenge. Once again, our Member Associations are leading the way, showcasing their innovation and resilience as they find ways to continue delivering services and education safely and effectively. The Taskforce was heartened to see that nine Member Associations are already offering Telemedicine, 12 are offering delivery of products and commodities and 24 are delivering virtual Comprehensive Sexuality Education programs.

It is this spirit of innovation, creativity and commitment to our work that will not only see us through this crisis, but ensure that we come out of it stronger and better able to offer quality patient-centred care for our clients around the world. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all the Member Associations and Secretariat staff who have supported the work of the Taskforce to date and who continue to do. We are truly seeing the strength of a united Federation.

In solidarity,

Julie Taft

IPPF Humanitarian Director and COVID-19 Taskforce Member

Posted in All Updates, Humanitarian, Taskforce Updates

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