Humanitarian crises are taking an enormous toll around the world. More people are displaced today than at any time since World War II, and among those affected, women and girls are the most vulnerable. More than a quarter of the 100 million people in need of humanitarian assistance are women and adolescent girls of childbearing age, between 15 and 49. They face mounting risks and vulnerabilities, but have limited access to services and insufficient funding to meet their unique health and protection needs.
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In April and May 2015, two large-scale earthquakes struck Nepal, killing almost 9,000 people, damaging over half a million houses and displacing hundreds of thousands of people from their homes. Natural hazards are indiscriminate: earthquakes have no regard for social hierarchy, gender, age, disability, religion, ethnicity, or caste.
Severely traumatized after losing her four-year-old daughter during the April 2015 earthquake in Nepal, Kalpana Shrestha is on the road to recovery today, thanks to psychosocial counselling she received at a UN Women-supported multi-purpose women's centre in Sindhupalchok District. To date, the centre has provided psychosocial counselling to nearly 500 women and young girls.
"I was unaware of the fact that young people have the right to decide freely on matters related to their sexuality and that sexual and reproductive rights are basic human rights," said Barun Kuinkel, age 17, after attending a sexual and reproductive health outreach session led by a peer educator from Y-PEER Nepal.