The Asia-Pacific is one of the most disaster-prone regions in the world. According to the World Disaster Report 2009, 40.5% of global disasters between 1999 and 2008 occurred in Asia, and 84.5% of those affected during the same period lived in the region. While comparative statistics for the Pacific is low given these island nation’s smaller sizes, their fragile economies and other factors make them vulnerable to the impact of disasters. Most are also vulnerable to rising impacts of climate change. Given the scale of disasters in the Asia-Pacific region, it is extremely crucial that governments and other actors respect, promote and fulfil the sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) of women, adolescents and people of diverse gender and sexual identities in disaster risk reduction, response and recovery.
There have been endeavours to address some aspects of SRHR in disasters within global agreements and standards. The 1994 International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD) recognised the importance of addressing reproductive health (RH) in disasters by calling for governments and donors to address “basic health care needs, including [RH] services and family planning,” of internally displaced persons due to conflicts and disasters.