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Partnerships ensuring women & girls wellbeing in humanitarian settings amid Covid19 pandemic

The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic ravaging the globe including Rwanda has the potential to exert severe pressure on health services and consequently affect the quality service delivery in general, including heightened risks to ASRH services and exacerbation of Gender Based Violence (GBV).

In support of tremendous efforts of the Government of Rwanda (GoR), partners are coordinating assistance to ensure the continuity of healthcare services including maternal and newborn healthcare, Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) services and prevention of Gender Based Violence (GBV).  UNFPA has received financial support from the Government of Japan to collaborate with partners to support Rwanda’s leadership of humanitarian response especially during the context of COVID-19 pandemic context.

On October 14th, UNFPA handed over medical equipment including 3,000 packages of 50 surgical masks worth $6,900 to Alight, Africa Humanitarian Action and Save the Children International in support of COVID-19 prevention in humanitarian settings. These Personnel Protective Equipment (PPE) will ensure protection of frontline health workers including nurses, midwives, doctors, community health workers, GBV cases managers and GBV community activists.

“Next year Japan and the Government of Rwanda will celebrate 60 years of collaboration. Rwanda and Japan have collaborated in providing support to refugees. We express our gratitude to the Government of Rwanda, UNFPA & other partners for collaboration. Japan has been able to play its role in supporting refugees. We will continue to working with you.” Yukako OCHI, Deputy Chief of Mission at Embassy of Japan.

Yukako OCHI, the Deputy Chief of Mission at the Embassy of Japan in Rwanda and Mark Bryan Schreiner at the handover of PPEs at UNFPA Rwanda office


This equipment is part of UNFPA’s support to the humanitarian settings in its preparedness and response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This has been made possible by the support received from the Government of Japan under the Supplementary budget.

Globally, UNFPA strategic priorities in regards to COVID-19 pandemic revolve around supporting national efforts to ensure the continuity of SRH services; the protection of frontline health workers providing SRH services; and the availability of FP commodities and lifesaving medicines amidst Covid-19.

In Rwanda, UNFPA support to the national response has included both technical and financial support across pillars including: Leadership and Coordination, Surveillance, Risk Communication and Community Engagement, Infection Prevention and Control, Case Management, Testing and Contact Tracing.

“UNFPA expresses deep gratitude to the Government and People of Japan for their important and consistent support for humanitarian response ensuring continuity of SRH and maternal health services amidst the challenges caused by COVID-19 pandemic.”  Mark Bryan Schreiner, UNFPA Representative to Rwanda.

With the Government of Japan’s support, UNFPA is partnering with AHA, SCI and Alight to deliver a one-year project “Strengthening Maternal, Sexual and Reproductive Health, Gender Based Violence Prevention and Response in humanitarian settings in the context of COVID-19 pandemic” funded under the Japan Supplementary Budget.

“Partnership with UNFPA and Japan Project, has improved our services particularly in the time of Covid19 since last year; this support is minimizing the risks of health care providers as front line workers. We thank the Government of Japan and UNFPA.”  Debritu Bitre Abebe, AHA Country Representative.

Mark Bryan Schreiner, Representative of UNFPA to Rwanda and Debritu Bitre Abeb,Country Representative of AHA signing the official documents at the handover of PPEs at UNFPA Rwanda office

“We are very thankful for the collaboration with UNFPA and the People of Japan for providing the support to the refugees.  We promise that this will continue to allow us to deliver our long term ambition for us to ensure that children are protected, learning and also surviving.” Marcel Sibomana, Head of Sector strategies and Child Right Governance at Save the Children Rwanda.

Mark Bryan Schreiner, Representative of UNFPA to Rwanda and Marcel Sibomana, head of sector strategies and child right governance at SCI signing the official documents at the handover of PPEs at UNFPA Rwanda office

“We are very grateful for the generosity of the People of Japan and supports of UNFPA that allow us to deliver services on SRH, GBV and Innovation in refugee camps. This support will allow us to keep our front line workers in working safely and continue deliver services to the community”. Said Bernard O. Ochieng, Country Director Alight Rwanda

Mark Bryan Schreiner, Representative of UNFPA to Rwanda and Bernard O.Ochieng, Country Director Alight Rwanda signing the official documents at the handover of PPEs at UNFPA Rwanda office


The Japan Supplementary project being implemented by UNFPA with partners is strengthening Maternal, Sexual and Reproductive Health Services including GBV Prevention and Response in the context of COVID-19 pandemic in six refugee camps in Rwanda. It builds upon foundations laid and results achieved with Japan’s support under previous Supplementary Budget Windows, and strengthens gains made to provide lifesaving support for Burundian and Congolese refugees hosted by the Government of Rwanda.