When an emergency strikes, UNFPA prioritizes its work on reaching the most vulnerable, particularly pregnant and lactating women and girls, by providing them with the necessary items to fulfill their basic needs. They all fit in an orange bucket, and all together is what we call a dignity kit.
The five items commonly included in these kits are: maternity napkins, underwear, bath soap, toothbrush and toothpaste. We also add a number of other hygiene items after identifying them in consultation with affected women and girls: shampoo, laundry bar, toilet paper, underwear, bath towel, slippers, comb, and nail clippers are among the items we often include.
In the Philippines, the dignity kit includes culturally appropriate items such as a malong, a piece of fabric that can function as a skirt for both men and women, and a potty so women can choose not to go to toilets at night in case is dark and unsafe. Other items to address the protection of women and girls included in the kits are flashlights and whistles.
We place all these items in an orange bucket, so that it’s easy to deliver, and so that women can also make use of the bucket for washing and carrying water. On average, our dignity kit costs between 10 and 20 USD. One month after typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines, UNFPA has distributed around 1,000 kits in the areas of Tacloban City, Leyte Province, Roxas City and the municipality of Borongan through our medical missions and partners.