Fertility and reproductive health issues more broadly have tended to be of low priority in humanitarian crises. Public attention is drawn by information concerning the magnitude of refugee flows, of death tolls, and of numbers of injuries. Reproductive health has been regarded as a longer term issue that could safely be put on the back burner during the crisis phase of an emergency, when issues of providing adequate food, clean water, and shelter, plus treating acute infectious diseases of crowding, take priority. This report reviews what evidence there is concerning the effects of humanitarian crisis on fertility, with a view to identifying common patterns that may exist across settings and be of value in guiding responses to future crises.
Kenneth Hill, Roundtable on the Demography of Forced Migration, Program on Forced Migration and Health at the Mailman School of Public Health Columbia University, National Research Council