When people are forced from their homes by war or persecution, health risks increase and access to healthcare is severely limited. They flee to find immediate safety — embarking on dangerous journeys across regions lacking medical services. Crossing a desert to run from bombs. Taking a boat to escape persecution.
Thankfully, with support from donors, the UN Refugee Agency is able to offer lifesaving healthcare and support to refugees. From emergency care to vaccinations, surgery to trauma counseling, USA for UNHCR donors are saving lives — today on World Health Day and every day of the year.
Here are just a few ways donors help:
QUALITY PRIMARY HEALTHCARE
When Sumaiya began experiencing pregnancy complications in her third trimester, she and her husband Ahmed turned to UNHCR for medical support. Their daughter Jena was born through an emergency caesarean section and was treated for lung problems during a 14-day hospitalization. Today both mother and daughter are happy and healthy. Without support from UNHCR, Syrian refugees like Sumaiya and her family living in Jordan would not have access to critical care.
The UN Refugee Agency is committed to providing access to primary healthcare services through both direct access to medical experts and referrals to specialists. These lifesaving services are only possible with USA for UNHCR donor support.
I was so happy. I could not pay without this help. I can’t bear thinking about what would have happened without it.
MENTAL HEALTH AND COUNSELING
The psychological impact of being driven from their homes and the harrowing journey to safety can be devastating to refugees of all ages. This toll on mental health is often untreated. Many suffer from depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. Around 15-20% of displaced people suffer from mental health challenges.
To counter the long-lasting effects of these traumatic experiences, the UN Refugee Agency trains staff to identify and respond to mental health issues. Here, Syrian refugees take part in a special therapy session for children at a UNHCR-supported center in Beirut, Lebanon.
In addition to direct access to medical services, the UN Refugee Agency provides preventative services such as vaccinations and access to materials like bed nets to avoid possible infections and diseases. Jacqueline was pregnant when she was forced to flee violence in her native Burundi. Today, she lives with her husband and their two little boys, Alikeli and Dani, in Tanzania’s Nduta refugee camp. UNHCR provided the family shelter and mosquito nets to counter the risk of malaria.
CLEAN WATER, SANITATION AND HYGIENE
Access to plenty of clean water, wash and sanitation facilities and items like soap and female hygiene products is vital in helping to prevent the spread of infection and disease. With USA for UNHCR donor support, the UN Refugee Agency can help ensure that refugees have safe access to clean water, toilets and areas to wash.
Your help is urgently needed …
As a USA for UNHCR monthly donor, you can make sure that refugee families receive the healthcare they need — and the hope for a safer future. It’s the most effective and efficient way you can help – Start your gifts today.