The Year in Pictures

Ados May







The Latest


Wednesday, 29 December 2021

The UNFPA Latest newsletter closes with a look back at the 2021 in photographs, focusing on themes from COVID-19 to climate change to crises and conflict. We also highlight work on the ground in the Philippines following Super Typhoon Rai, the recently-launched annual Humanitarian Action Overview report and efforts in promoting sexual and reproductive health around the globe. Thanks for reading this year. 




2021: A look back at a year of assistance amidst adversity

UNITED NATIONS – If 2020 was defined by the pandemic, 2021 was to be the year of the vaccine. Yet the promise of a world returning to normal, of faces unmasked and social lives resumed, remains just beyond reach –  and for some entirely elusive. With vaccines came inequality, apprehension, misinformation, mutations: with the close of another year, an uncertain one beckons.  

View the year in pictures


Humanitarian aid rushed to Philippines following record-setting typhoon

Philippines – Super Typhoon Rai made landfall in the Philippines on 16 December. It was the third strongest storm ever recorded in the northern hemisphere.

Look at Super Typhoon Rai's aftermath


Women and girls’ needs require urgent attention as climate shocks, conflict and COVID fuel humanitarian crises

Natural disasters, intensified by climate change, conflict and the continuing coronavirus pandemic, are driving up humanitarian needs and displacement worldwide, taking a devastating and disproportionate toll on women and girls who are less able to access life-saving services and less likely to be part of decision-making that affects their lives.

UNFPA has launched its largest ever humanitarian appeal to reach over 54 million women, girls and young people in 61 countries in 2022. UNFPA’s humanitarian support to countries will focus on the provision of integrated sexual and reproductive health and gender-based violence services and comprehensive support for survivors of violence, including mental health and psychosocial support. The total appeal is for $835 million.

Learn more about the humanitarian appeal


Mobile health units are saving lives in Libya

GHAT, Libya – Rahma was delivering at home when complications arose: obstructed labour, internal bleeding and low haemoglobin levels. The 18-year-old, a migrant from Niger, was rushed to a mobile health unit in Ghat, where after undergoing a Caesarean section and blood transfusion, she gave birth to a healthy baby boy she named Ahmed. “I feared for the life of my child more than my own but thankfully we both were saved,” Rahma said.

See how mobile health units support a fragile health system


Emergency help is a phone call away for midwives in Afghanistan

Kabul, AFGHANISTAN – One evening in August, Firoza, a 34-year-old mother of five, was rushed from her village of Chesht-Sherat in Herat Province to a UNFPA-supported Family Health House. She was in labour but had developed complications and was in severe pain.

Family Health Houses help people in hard-to-reach areas to access otherwise scarce maternity services, and have supported more than 15,000 women in delivering their babies safely across Afghanistan so far in 2021. After being treated by staff at the health centre, Firoza was able to give birth safely. But her midwife, Amina, noticed there was something different about this delivery – it wasn’t over. Firoza had another baby on the way. 

Read how family health houses fill health-care facility gaps


In Pakistan’s remote areas, midwives ensure care beyond safe birth

KARACHI, Pakistan – During the pandemic, 24-year-old Seema moved to Koohi Goth, an urban slum on the outskirts of Pakistan’s largest city, to be closer to her parents. She had three daughters, the youngest of whom died as a newborn because of the lack of neonatal services in her former neighbourhood of Karachi City, a few miles from the Rehri Goth, coupled with limited prenatal care to address pregnancy complications. Now she is pregnant again, but this time, she started visiting the midwifery-led care unit at the Koohi Goth Hospital, where she receives regular checkups for free. 

Discover how midwifery-led care is making a difference


Adolescents with questions find answers via live-streamed sexuality education in China

QINGHAI PROVINCE, China – “I never talked about sex with my friends or my parents,” said 15-year-old Cairen, a 9th-grader in China’s Qinghai Province. “Sexuality is a taboo topic.” Her experience is shared by many adolescents across China as they struggle to negotiate the transition to adulthood. In Yunnan Province, 14-year-old Tu confided, that once in a while, he would talk with his friends about sex. But after a word or two, “the conversation was over.” 

Take note of the benefit of sexuality education






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