When disaster strikes, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) ensures that the reproductive health, needs, and protection concerns of women and girls living with disabilities are integrated into emergency responses. One of the ways UNFPA supports women and girls living with disabilities in the aftermath of natural disasters is by providing Women with Disabilities Dignity Kit (WWDDK).
In light of this, UNFPA Pacific launched the WWDDK in 2020, through the Asia Pacific Regional Prepositioning Initiative, supported by the Australian Government, UNFPA in partnership with the Pacific Disability Forum and the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF), have created a unique partnership to pursue an inclusive humanitarian response to the needs of women and girls with disabilities and women and girls more broadly.
On 17 December 2020, severe Tropical Cyclone Yasa (Category 5 intensity) made landfall on Bua district of Vanua Levu (part of the Northern division) – Fiji’s second-largest island.
In November 2021, as the UNFPA humanitarian response efforts to TC Yasa continued, a 47-year-old from Buca village in Tukavesi, who was affected by the disaster, was visited by the midwives through UNFPA Pacific’s community outreach initiative. Mereia was visited twice by the two UNFPA Pacific retired midwives with the WWDD kit. She deeply appreciated the much-needed support provided to her by UNFPA Pacific.