Family Planning

Many people in humanitarian settings wish to avoid pregnancy and childbirth during times of emergency or displacement. However, those who leave home quickly might not be able to bring their contraceptives with them or access new ones at their point of shelter.

In a 2010 statement, the Inter-agency Working Group (IAWG) on Reproductive Health in Crises stressed the importance of making a range of contraceptive methods, including condoms, pills, injectables, emergency contraception, and intrauterine devices (IUDs) available in humanitarian settings. The IAWG recommends that comprehensive family planning programming be implemented as the situation stabilizes. Implementation involves staff training, community education, logistics and supply chain management, and developing a client follow-up system. Offering family planning services in humanitarian settings has many benefits. Family planning:

  • Allows families to time, space, and limit their pregnancies.
  • Helps prevent unwanted pregnancy and unsafe abortion.
  • Enables more efficient post-crisis recovery, development, and economic stability.
  • Helps prevent the transmission of HIV and other STIs.

The resources in this section of the Toolkit examine the barriers to family planning in humanitarian settings and offer insight as to how to effectively implement contraceptive services in and around crisis situations.

Do you have a comment, or would you like to suggest a family planning resource for inclusion in this Toolkit? Please fill out our feedback form.