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The Asia and the Pacific region is the most disaster-prone area in the world. The Global Risks Atlas 2013, which evaluates 179 countries, puts 3 out of 10 countries in the region in the Extreme to High Risk categories. In addition to cyclical floods, earthquakes, and other disasters, a number of countries are experiencing protracted civil conflict. Over the past four decades, the average number of people affected by annual flooding more than doubled, from 29.5 million to over 63 million, while populations in cyclone-prone areas jumped from 71 million to over 120 million.
In times of upheaval or natural disasters, pregnancy-related deaths and gender-based violence soar. Many women lose access to essential reproductive health services and give birth in appalling conditions without access to safe delivery services and life saving care.
UNFPA’s country offices in the Asia and the Pacific region work closely with national governments and key civil society and other partners to ensure that the reproductive health and protection needs of women and girls are addressed before, during and after a crisis. UNFPA takes the lead with national partners to coordinate the prevention and response to gender-based violence, and the sexual and reproductive health response to disasters and conflicts. It works to ensure that life-saving supplies and services are accessible for the affected population, paying particular attention to the special needs of women and young people. Priority areas include maternal health, family planning, prevention of sexually transmitted infections including HIV, adolescent health, and combating gender-based violence.