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Donors Neglect Reproductive Health Needs in Countries Affected by Armed Conflict

IMG_2613London 9 June: Reproductive health needs are particularly acute in countries affected by armed conflict, yet the findings of a new study published in PLoS Medicine shows the inequitable distribution of aid for reproductive health activities in conflict-affected countries.

The study was commissioned by the RAISE Initiative (www.raiseinitiative.org), a joint initiative of Marie Stopes International and the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health which is catalysing change in how reproductive health is addressed in crisis situations. The research, carried out by King’s College London, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and the RAISE Initiative, analysed aid disbursements for reproductive health activities to 18 conflict-affected countries from 2003 to 2006.

The findings show that an annual average of $1.30 official development assistance (ODA) was disbursed per capita in the 18 sampled countries for reproductive health activities. Countries not affected by conflict received 53% more ODA for reproductive health activities than conflict-affected countries, despite the latter generally having greater reproductive health needs. ODA disbursed for HIV/AIDS activities to conflict-affected countries increased by 119% from 2003 to 2006. However, the ODA disbursed for other main reproductive health activities declined by 35% over the same period.

“For the first time we now have evidence of inequity in disbursement of aid for reproductive health between conflict-affected countries, in comparison with non-conflict-affected countries, and between different reproductive health activities” said Samantha Guy of the RAISE Initiative. “This study is invaluable for all those working to ensure comprehensive reproductive health services are always available in conflict-affected countries”

“Reliable information on aid is essential for improving the efficiency and effectiveness of aid,” said Bayard Roberts from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. “This study contributes new information to encourage more equitable distribution of aid for reproductive health activities in conflict-affected countries.”

The full research paper is freely available to read, download, distribute and re-use from http://medicine.plosjournals.org/perlserv/?request=get-document&doi=10.1371/journal.pmed.1000090

A two-page summary of the research is available here (also in the Library).

For more information on the report, please contact:
Samantha Guy, RAISE Initiative:
Samantha.guy@mariestopes.org . Telephone +44 (0)20 7034 2357

Dr. Preeti Patel. King’s College, London:
Preeti.patel@kcl.ac.uk. +44 (0)207 848 7261

June 9, 2009 | RAISE News


 
 
 
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