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The countries of Eastern Europe and Central Asia are highly prone to both natural (a variety of natural hazards, including floods, droughts, wild fires, earthquakes, strong winds, and landslides) and manmade disasters, which pose a constant threat to the survival and well-being of the population, particularly children and women. Therefore, in order to better coordinate all efforts on humanitarian response and emergency preparedness, the Inter-Agency Working Group (IAWG) on Reproductive Health (RH) in Crises for Eastern Europe and Central Asia was established in 2011 at the 13th annual meeting of the Global Inter-Agency Working Group on RH in crisis.

The first EECA IAWG forum took place on 20-21 November 2012 in Istanbul. During this Forum, the ToR of the EECA IAWG and an action plan for 2013 were adopted. The results of a mapping exercise highlighted the need for technical assistance for national stakeholders and governments to ensure a better integration of Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) into national preparedness and inter-agency contingency plans.

The purpose of the 2nd EECA IAWG was to assess the progress and developments related to SRHR in Emergency Situations in EECA region in 2013 and endorse 2014 action plan. The Forum was organized at Hotel Sürmeli in Istanbul and was chaired by Ms Lena Luyckfasseel, Programme Director IPPF EN, and Mr. Eziz Hellenov, RHCS Advisor UNFPA EECARO. Fifty-three (53) participants including Ministry representatives, IPPF Member Associations, Red Crescent, UNFPA country offices and Regional Offices from UNFPA EECARO and IPPF EN attended the Forum.

The Forum’s key objectives were to facilitate knowledge sharing amongst participants and establish synergies by strengthening and creating new partnerships. The Forum is also a platform to improve coordination and provide technical assistance to countries to better integrate SRHR in emergency situations.