Over the past decade, significant progress has been made in developing a capacity to respond to reproductive health needs in emergencies. This paper describes advances in policy; outlines what we know about the magnitude of reproductive health needs; and explores the lessons for programming. It aims to equip humanitarian practitioners with essential information for delivering effective reproductive health services to people in crises.
While the scope of reproductive health services available to conflict-affected populations is without question better today than in the past, substantial gaps in programme coverage, content and quality remain, making it difficult or impossible for affected populations actually to obtain reproductive health services.
This paper argues that bridging the gaps in the coverage, content and quality of services will require a greater reliance on evidence and experience to enable the design of technically and culturally sound programmes; good training and technical support; good management; and good monitoring and evaluation systems. There is a paramount need to address the issue of equity between refugees and the internally displaced, forced migrants and host populations, men and women, adults and adolescents.