The COVID-19 epidemic is one of the greatest challenges our Federation has faced. It is a global emergency affecting us all, without distinction. It is already clear that its impact will be unprecedented in every area of life; our ability as a Federation to deliver sexual and reproductive healthcare and our ability to defend and advance the rights of women and girls is already facing enormous strain.
At the same time, the work we all do will be more important than ever. The weight of this health emergency will fall disproportionately on the poor and underprivileged, as every crisis does. Those are the very people we all strive to serve.
As Director-General of this Federation, I want to be clear that supporting all our Member Associations through this pandemic is our priority.
IPPF has established a COVID-19 Taskforce, which will coordinate the work of the IPPF Secretariat in understanding the stresses being placed on all our Member Associations and delivering as much direct help as possible to those in need.
It will also identify opportunities to modernize our service offering, making sure we stay abreast of the rapidly changing landscape. There is an obvious need to expand access to no-touch services, and self-management of SRH care.
We are making the strongest possible case for additional resourcing to help combat the humanitarian need this crisis will create. I am very aware of the additional risk experienced by healthcare providers, and want staff feeling supported during what is likely to be the most challenging year they have ever faced.
And we will continue to amplify those efforts through our advocacy and communications – reinforcing that support for the people we serve is more urgent now than ever.
I want to thank every worker and every volunteer continuing to do their very best to provide vital sexual and reproductive healthcare, even at risk to themselves. The entire Federation stands together at this most difficult of times.
In support and in solidarity,
Dr Alvaro Bermejo