Project profile — Protecting Access to Safe Abortion and Contraception During COVID-19


Ipas (21053)
2020-06-22 - 2021-03-31
Global Affairs Canada
MFM Global Issues & Dev.Branch

Country / region 

• Africa, regional (50.00%)
• North and Central America, regional (25.00%)
• Asia, regional (25.00%)


• Population policy and administrative management:
Population policy and administrative management (13010) (50.00%)
Reproductive health care (13020) (50.00%)

Policy marker 

• Gender equality (significant objective)
• Environmental sustainability (cross-cutting) (significant objective)
• Participatory development and good governance (significant objective)
• Trade development (not targeted)
• Biodiversity (not targeted)
• Climate change mitigation (not targeted)
• Climate Change Adaptation (not targeted)
• Urban issues (not targeted)
• Desertification (not targeted)
• Children's issues (not targeted)
• Youth Issues (not targeted)
• Disaster Risk Reduction(DRR) (not targeted)
• Disability (not targeted)
• Indigenous Issues (not targeted)
• Nutrition (not targeted)
• ICT as a tool for development (not targeted)


The project aims to improve access to abortion and contraceptive services in the context of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, which has threatened access to contraception and family planning. This project works to ensure that people most in need have access to sexual and reproductive health and rights services during this critical time. This is done by strengthening the abortion ecosystem to fast track, and support key innovations in abortion and contraceptive care, while helping low-resource countries build workarounds that help de-medicalize and streamline abortion care across the ecosystem. This includes supporting health facilities that are already under stress by the demands of the global pandemic. The project expects to benefit women who are the most marginalized, including those who are disabled, migrants, Indigenous, poor, young, those lacking literacy skills, etc.

Expected results 

The expected outcomes for this project include: (1) developed guidelines for Personal Protective Equipment for healthcare workers and ensure that these are realistic for low-resource settings so that they can adhere to health guidelines; (2) provided support to women and girls to access abortion through advocating for and training staff to use medication abortion, including abortion self-care; (3) pharmacists are trained virtually to give the right dosage of abortion with pills and the correct information so people can safely end a pregnancy; and urging the integration of medical abortion services in telemedicine programs that offer primary care service; (4) addressed shortages of commodities and undertaking innovative data collection using mobile or online technologies to capture the impact on women’s access; and (5) work with humanitarian partners to include abortion self-care, and telemedicine in the services offered to women in humanitarian settings.

Results achieved 

Results achieved by Ipas through the support of the Government of Canada as of December 2021 include: (1) provided a total of 16,628 visits for family planning services and 1,853 for sexual health services; (2) supported 42 health facilities and trained 591 health care workers on a range of topics related to abortion and contraceptives; (3) established Bolivia’s first telehealth program; (4) received over 140 calls a month at a call center in Bangladesh for referrals and prescriptions for contraceptives and family planning services; (5) developed tools to support women’s access to accurate sexual and reproductive health information, including abortion. These tools include using radio, community discussions and a chatbot to distribute information; (6) trained community members on COVID prevention and provided personal protective equipment so that health care workers could continue to provide services; (7) advocated for policies to protect the provision of reproductive health services as essential during the pandemic since they categorized abortion care as non-essential in many countries; and (8) developed guidance on safe abortion care access during the pandemic and shared with internal staff and external partners to support advocacy for the continuation of services, which supports advocacy with policymakers and government officials to promote abortion as an essential health service.

Budget and spending 

Original budget $2,000,000
Planned disbursement $0
Transaction Date Type Value
22-06-2020 Commitment $2,000,000
30-06-2020 Disbursement $2,000,000
Country percentages by sector
Type of finance Aid grant excluding debt reorganisation
Collaboration type Bilateral, core contributions to NGOs and other private bodies / PPPs
Type of aid Core support to NGOs, other private bodies, PPPs and research institutes
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