Resources & News

Read more about the needs and what is being done to address them by visiting the Reproductive Health Response in Conflict Consortium’s website. Also, visit the RAISE Initiative, to learn more about what’s being done on the ground.

Read about some of our past partners and projects in Small Grants, Large Gains.

Interested in how we measure success? Check out our Guide to Monitoring & Evaluation that focuses on capacity building in conflict areas.

Making the Case

Want to read international documents to make the case to somebody else? Read some of these documents to understand the international commitment to reproductive health for refugees.

  • The 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) in Cairo, elevated the issue of reproductive health for refugees. This conference was the first time the international community explicitly recognized the right of displaced populations to access reproductive health services, including family planning. Read more about ICPD and the Program of Action here.
  • The Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were agreed upon by the international community as a blueprint to meet the needs of the world’s poorest by 2015. During a review of the eight goals in 2005, a target for universal access to reproductive health (MDG5b) was added. The international community acknowledged that any advancement in Goal 5 to improve maternal health is dependent upon addressing access to reproductive health services. Read more about the MDGs here.

Video – “At Two Fronts: The Story of Reproductive Health in Emergencies.”

Often images and faces of those on the ground tell the story best. Created by our colleagues at the Raise Initiative, this short film takes us on a compelling journey to discover what women experience in crisis — loss of homes and livelihoods, increased insecurity and violence, and reproductive health care that often falls short of what they deserve.

But there is hope. By supporting local partners that can reach these hard-hit areas, Astarte seeks to be part of the solution by providing relief on the ‘second front’ where there is an absence of reproductive health care during and after the crisis. Support our work by donating to Astarte and sharing this video with your friends and family.

Recent News >>

Astarte Hosts Successful Film Screenings at State Department and the Landmark E Street Theater in Washington D.C.

Following on the heels of a Capitol Hill screening, attended by Rep. Carolyn Maloney, Astarte along with members of the RAISE Initiative hosted two successful screenings of Grace Under Fire at State Department and the Landmark E Street Theatre.

The U.S. government inter-agency event, hosted by State Department’s Bureau of Population, Migration and Refugees, underscored the role of the U.S. government in addressing reproductive health in crisis settings. Remarks were offered by Assistant Secretary for the Bureau of Population, Migration and Refugees, Eric Schwartz; Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affaires, Maria Otero; and USAID Senior Deputy Assistant Administrator for Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance Susan Reichel. All three emphasized the importance of providing reproductive health in crises.

“This is a difficult film to watch; it forces us to ask ourselves why we are falling short, and how we can do better.” -Assistant Secretary Eric Schwartz, State Department Bureau of Population, Migration and Refugees

In both the U.S. Government and theater event, 3 esteemed panelists joined us for an indepth discussion of the issue at hand: what are the barriers to make quality reproductive health services available to communities afffected by crisis? The film’s protagonist, Dr. Grace Kodindo, Dr. Boubacar Touré from the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Astarte partner Clarence Massaquoi from Liberia answered questions about the use of rape as a tool of war, the challenges in getting reproductive health supplies where they need to be, and ways American communities and the U.S. government could help. Much of the discussion also reflected the need and importance of strengthening local NGOs on the ground. We were happy to see many students in the audience who asked great questions at our theater event.

Thank you to those of you who came out and supported us!

Thanks to the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, you can read about and view video from the State Department event here.

Washington DC Film Screening to Highlight Reproductive Health Needs in Crises

Join us Thursday, June 3rd at the Landmark E Street Theatre for a screening of Grace Under Fire, a powerful and inspiring documentary focused on promoting and improving access to lifesaving reproductive health care in war-torn eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).Dr. Grace Kodindo with woman in Democratic Republic of Congo

Following the film, a panel including Dr. Grace Kodindo, the film’s protagonist, and Astarte partner, Clarence Massaquoi from Liberia will discuss the urgent need for quality comprehensive reproductive health services and highlight effective approaches taken to respond to this need in the context of humanitarian emergencies.

We hope you can join us!

When:Thursday, June 3rd, 6-8pm

Where:Landmark E Street Theatre, 555 11th St. NW Washington DC (entrance on E St. between 10 St. and 11th St. NW

**Tickets are $5 at the door. Proceeds and donations will go towards the Astarte project.

Workshop Brings Together Leaders in Reproductive Health

workshopIn July, Astarte held a regional workshop for West African NGO leaders in Freetown, Sierra Leone. Sixteen leaders from Sierra Leone and Liberia discussed the challenges that face their communities—including the lack of public health facilities and the impact of poverty on women.

Participants also shared their visions and success stories. One group began a program to talk to couples about overcoming social stigmas surrounding HIV. Other leaders noted how they confronted similar issues facing their communities. The common ground provided an opportunity for leaders to share their experiences and lessons they have learned in addressing the needs of the community.

“The statistics show that there are only small differences between Sierra Leone and Liberia. I feel like this is a great area for collaboration, and sharing of expertise.”

-Leader from Sierra Leone

The workshop aimed to support these leaders in building and strengthening national and regional networks. One such initiative is the Reproductive Health Advocacy Network in Sierra Leone (RHAN-SL) which emerged from the need to share health expertise, reach more communities, and collaborate both within the country and across borders.

All participants expressed the importance of sustainable partnership with one another and with international NGOs. The participants voiced the urgency of bringing reproductive health services to their people. In sharing their personal struggles, these leaders have become a testament to how visions can become realities.

As a facilitator, Astarte played the important role of providing the planning and funding to bring together these various NGOs that otherwise lack the financial resources needed to organize. The workshop became a gathering place for community leaders to candidly share ideas, challenges, and plans for the future.

Each initiative that was represented works to improve the reproductive health services in their communities. Some work to train traditional birth attendants in order to ensure safe deliveries for women in rural communities. Others work with community health workers to increase access to contraceptive methods and increase awareness about STI/HIV prevention. Many of these initiatives were past recipients of Astarte grants.

photo of Astarte's partners standing on a patio

© Losmeiya Huang
Leaders from Liberia and Sierra Leone gather in Freetown to share ideas and challenges during a workshop in July 2009. These partners focused on linking with one another to create country and regional networks that would work to strengthen reproductive health services in their communities.