Reproductive Health Access, Information and Services in Emergencies (RAISE) Initiative

Dates: 2006-2013

Countries: Myanmar, Colombia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Thailand, Uganda, South Sudan

Client(s): Columbia University

Services: Capacity Development, Knowledge Management

Technical Expertise: Family Planning & Reproductive Health, Maternal, Newborn & Child Health

The RAISE Initiative seeks to ensure that displaced populations receive quality reproductive health (RH) services. Despite the great need, the provision of high quality RH services for displaced persons is often neglected in emergency response. There are approximately 70 million displaced persons in the world today, and roughly half of them are women who are especially vulnerable to RH risks both in crisis and conflict settings. When RH care is limited or absent, the toll - in terms of life-threatening medical emergencies and the violation of human rights - is profound.

Developed by Columbia University's Heilbrunn Mailman School of Public Health/Department of Population and Family Health and Marie Stopes International (MSI), the RAISE Initiative is committed to the provision of fully integrated and comprehensive RH services for refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs). Through partnerships with humanitarian and development agencies, United Nations (UN) bodies, advocacy agencies and academic institutions, RAISE strives to have RH recognized as an absolute necessity for populations displaced by emergencies - and, in a broader sense, as an integral part of basic health care for all, just as food, water, sanitation and shelter are commonly accepted as primary needs. The RAISE Initiative emphasizes positive change in six priority areas within RH care, which were identified by staff, partners, and leading researchers as key factors in achieving overall RH improvement, including: technical support, clinical training, emergency funding, advocacy, research, and documentation and dissemination. RAISE is working in Colombia, N. Uganda, S. Sudan, Darfur, Sudan and Chad.

JSI is a RAISE Initiative advocacy partner. In collaboration with RAISE staff and partners, JSI provides assistance to the initiative's advocacy efforts, working to positively influence the policy and funding environment to facilitate widespread support for comprehensive RH care in emergency situations. JSI's work with the RAISE Initiative falls under JSI's Reproductive Health for Refugees Project which encompasses multiple initiatives that seek to increase quality RH services in crisis-affected areas.


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