UNFPA predicts a Spike in Unintended Pregnancies across the World
The UN Population Fund raised concerns about the spike in number of unplanned pregnancy, child marriage and other negative consequences arising due to the lockdown conditions.
The UNFPA highlighted the following consequences of the Great Lockdown:
- Women and girls are at risk of losing ability to plan their families and protect their health and bodies.
- More women are skipping medical check-up due to fear of contracting COVID-19.
- Increasing chances of unplanned pregnancy due to restricted access to contraceptives- resulting from supply disruption.
- Increased risk of gender based violence.
- Increased risk of harmful practices like female genital mutilation.
- Increased chances for child marriage.
- Increased risk of maternal mortality, etc.
The UNFPA estimated that if the lockdown remains in force for 6 months,
- 47 million in 114 low and middle income countries won’t be able to access contraceptives.
- It would result in 7 million unintended pregnancies.
- There could be 31 million additional cases of gender violence.
- The pandemic has affected anti-FGM programs and hence may cause 2 million FGM cases over the next decade.
- Similarly, 13 million additional child marriages may take place in the next decade.
UNFPA or United Nations Population Fund is a UN agency involved in improvement of reproductive health, birth control strategies, etc. It was formed in 1969 and is a part of the UN Development Group. It is known for campaigning against female genital mutilation (FGM), child marriage, etc.