Maternal Health

Over the last two decades, there have been important advances in maternal health—or the health of women during pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum period—ensuring women and their babies reach their full potential for health and well-being. However, the rate of maternal deaths, largely preventable, remains high, especially for women living in low-resource settings with little access to care. In 2017, nearly 300,000 women died during or after pregnancy or childbirth.

Supporting Maternal Health in Refugee Settings

With support from the Shefa Fund, refugees in Jordan—primarily from Syria—received affordable maternal health services, including professional ante- and postnatal care, and were ensured access to safe deliveries. Referral assistance—as well as cost coverage of emergency obstetric care services and high-risk pregnancies and neonatal care cases—meant that no woman was turned away from delivery services.

What Our Granting Achieved


mothers accessed safe deliveries and other maternal health services


cases of high-risk pregnancies received skilled care


newborns given neonatal care

The Shefa Fund’s $500,000 grant to UNHCR in Jordan advanced maternal and newborn health and well-being among refugees. This support enabled hundreds of mothers to receive primary and secondary maternal healthcare services, including culturally appropriate family planning resources and nutritional counseling. With access to skilled care and safe delivery, the risk of long-term health issues may have been mitigated for mothers and babies.

Our Grantees Working to Respond to Maternal Health


UNHCR is the United Nations refugee agency. As a global organization, UNHCR works on multiple continents to protect the rights and improve the lives of refugees, forcibly displaced communities, and stateless people.

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1 Banner, 2 Supporting Maternal Health, 4 Granting | Photo Credit UNHCR / Hannah Maule-ffinch

3 & 5 Granting | Photo Credit UNHCR / Jordan