Go to Journal Articles library
Journal Articles

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

In IDS Bulletin, Women’s Refugee Commission’s Lily Jacobi and Sarah Rich write about Covid-19’s effects on contraceptive services across the humanitarian–development nexus. The article is based on research conducted by WRC.

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 nongovernmental organizations, 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’ prioritization 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.