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In humanitarian settings, women, children and newborns are disproportionately affected. Statistics have shown that women and children are 14 times more likely to die than men in a disaster. Every day, an estimated 500 women and girls die from complications due to pregnancy and childbirth in fragile and humanitarian settings. Additionally, newborn deaths accounted for 47% of all under-five deaths in 2017, increasing from 40% in 1990. High-mortality countries have faced difficulties in achieving global targets for reducing child deaths due to a recent conflict, recurring natural disasters or both, happening in more than 80% of these countries.

Recent global and regional efforts have provided the momentum to strengthen the delivery of newborn care in humanitarian settings. One effort was the development of a guide titled “Newborn Health in Humanitarian Settings: Field Guide” which launched in 2018 along with a technical webinar that was held to illustrate country examples of early use. Another effort was the production of a draft road map during a global newborn health in humanitarian and fragile settings experts’ meeting held in Geneva in February 2019. (Read the declaration from this meeting here). The developing road map is titled, “Five-Year Roadmap to Accelerate Progress on Newborn Health in Humanitarian Settings 2020 – 2025” and it proposes objectives as well as an outline for preparing an action plan.

Workshops in Kenya, Uganda, and Ethiopia were held to inform health professionals about the efforts taking place to address newborn health in humanitarian settings. In this blog series, colleagues from UNICEF and other stakeholders share their experience disseminating the “Newborn Health in Humanitarian Settings” field guide and the “Five-Year Roadmap to Accelerate Progress on Newborn Health in Humanitarian Settings 2020-2025” in these countries to key stakeholders.


Key resources for Newborn Health in Humanitarian and Fragile Settings