Overseas Aid: Genito-urinary Medicine

Department for International Development written question – answered on 11th June 2020.

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Photo of Baroness Tonge Baroness Tonge Non-affiliated

To ask Her Majesty's Government how they ensure (1) the availability of, and (2) equitable access to, sexual and reproductive health and rights services is included as part of the essential package of health services for their COVID-19 response overseas.

Photo of Baroness Sugg Baroness Sugg The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for International Development, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

The UK proudly continues to work with our key partners, including UN agencies, national governments and civil society, to protect and advocate for sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR), to ensure that decades of progress toward securing universal access are not reversed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

We remain committed to supporting the Minimum Initial Service Package for Reproductive Health in Crises and have provided UNFPA with an additional £10 million for life-saving SRH services as part of the global humanitarian response plan to COVID-19.

The UK-aid funded Global Financing Facility is continuing to support governments to maintain health systems in 36 affected countries, with a focus on protecting reproductive, maternal and newborn health services. Our flagship SRHR programme ‘WISH’ is delivering desperately-needed services and supplies during the pandemic across 27 countries, including increasing use of technologies, more self-care delivery and working to ensure SRHR is part of national COVID-19 essential service delivery. Ensuring that no-one is left behind is key to this effort. Local radio and SMS are providing critical messages on SRHR and COVID-19 to those living in remote areas. Where possible, fee waiver schemes are removing cost-barriers for the poorest and community outreach services continue in rural areas where it remains safe to do so.

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