Covid-19’s Effects on Contraceptive Services Across the Humanitarian–Development Nexus

Volume 53 Number 2
Published: April 27, 2022

Sexual and reproductive health (SRH) services, including contraception, save lives in humanitarian emergencies. To document practitioners’ perceptions of the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on contraceptive programming in humanitarian settings and across the humanitarian–development nexus, the Women’s Refugee Commission conducted 29 key informant interviews with respondents from non-governmental organisations, the United Nations, and government ministries. Disruptions to contraceptive services included closures or repurposing of health facilities, limited availability of health providers, supply chain interruptions, restricted service delivery modalities, and lower demand for services. Adaptations to sustain services included telemedicine, task-shifting and sharing, community-based service delivery, and other innovations. Underlying factors affecting the types and extent of disruptions and adaptations included emergency preparedness for SRH, decision makers’ prioritisation of SRH services, funding, and coordination. Findings reinforce the need to build awareness that SRH services, including contraception, are lifesaving and essential in humanitarian settings, and to improve preparedness, including bridging gaps between humanitarian and development actors.

From Issue: Vol. 53 No. 2 (2022) | Humanitarianism and Covid-19: Structural Dilemmas, Fault Lines, and New Perspectives