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The COVID-19 pandemic is holding back progress towards the UN's Global Goals and the mission to end extreme poverty — impacting everything from health, to gender equality, to education, to good nutrition, and more. Join the movement to end the pandemic and get back on track to achieving the UN's Global Goals by taking action here to support our Recovery Plan for the World campaign. 

Pledges made during Global Citizen’s Global Goal: Unite for Our Future broadcast event in June 2020 are helping the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to deliver live-saving support and services to women in some of the world's hardest to reach places.

The organization supports crucial sexual and reproductive health services in underserved communities in more than 150 countries around the world — which are, combined, home to more than 80% of the world’s population.

Funding mobilized during Global Goal: Unite for Our Future has so far helped the UNFPA to deliver critical maternal and newborn health care to communities in Benin, Guinea, Togo, Thailand, the Philippines, and Mexico during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The UNFPA received over $44 million in funding as a result of pledges mobilized during the event, including commitments from Canada, Denmark, and Germany, as well as corporations including Takeda, Johnson & Johnson, and Reckitt Benckiser.

An estimated 12 million women have experienced disruptions in their family planning services due to the pandemic, leading to 1.4 million unintended pregnancies, according to a report released by the UNFPA.

As the pandemic strains public health systems and exacerbates gender-based violence, the organization is addressing the impact on women and girls by making sure access to reproductive health services, family planning, and support to survivors of violence and exploitation continue.

Midwives and Life-Saving Care to Remote Communities in Benin, Guinea, and Togo

The $4.6 million pledge from Takeda made during Global Goal: Unite for Our Futurehas enabled the UNFPA to implement a program focused on ensuring access to quality maternal and newborn health care services during the COVID-19 pandemic in Benin, Guinea, and Togo, with the objective to reach at least 350,000 women and newborns — including 12,700 women facing life-threatening complications.

The organization has also provided direct support to the Emergency Obstetric and Newborn Care (EmONC) health facilities, in addition to providing 54,475 masks and disinfection products to communities in the region.

The pledge has also enabled the UNFPA to recruit 56 midwives to assist women in the region's most remote areas; and to train 46 health providers in maternal deaths support, and 25 logisticians on last-mile supply chain.

Reducing Maternal Mortality and Protecting Mothers During the Pandemic

The $1 million grant from Johnson & Johnson for the UNFPA program “Safe Birth, Even Here: Reducing Maternal Mortality in Fragile Contexts”, meanwhile, is helping the organization to strengthen and maintain midwifery and maternal health service delivery in Liberia, Haiti, and Pakistan throughout COVID-19.

The UNFPA is also continuing to provide support services to women and expecting mothers throughout Thailand, the Philippines, and Mexico, thanks to a $1.4 million pledge made by Reckitt Benckiser during the event. In Thailand, the UNFPA initiative is aiming to improve maternal health care access and contraceptive services for more than 230,000 women, adolescent girls, pregnant women, and adolescent mothers in high risk and remote, mountainous areas.

Similarly, since September 2020, the Philippines-based “Safe Birth for All: Putting Women, Girls and Their Carers at the Center of COVID-19 Response Through Innovative Approaches” UNFPA program has worked to provide life-saving essential health services to pregnant and postpartum women and their newborns across the island nation. The project is set to impact the lives of more than 2,000 pregnant women and girls. 

In Guerrero State, Mexico, meanwhile, the UNFPA is helping Indigenous populations and communities in poverty increase access to maternal and newborn health care. The initiative aims to reach close to 100,000 women from vulnerable groups, to minimize risks related to sexual and reproductive health.

In February, Global Citizen released a report detailing the remarkable impact of the Global Goal: Unite for Our Future broadcast and revealing that, less than a year on from the event, almost $1.1 billion — 72% — of the $1.5 billion in mobilized grants is currently supporting millions of people around the world.

Into 2021, this funding is also funding global programs and organizations that are providing equitable COVID-19 health care, and supporting the world’s poorest and most marginalized communities as they combat the daily impacts of the pandemic.


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By Camille May