Minimum Initial Service Package (MISP)
The MISP should be implemented at the onset of every new emergency
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- The Minimum Initial Service Package (MISP) for reproductive health is a priority set of life-saving activities to be implemented at the onset of every humanitarian crisis. It forms the starting point for reproductive health programming and should be sustained and built upon with comprehensive reproductive health services throughout protracted crises and recovery.
- Sexual and reproductive health problems are the leading cause of women’s ill health and death world-wide.1
- The MISP saves lives and prevents illness, trauma and disability, especially among women and girls. As such, the MISP meets the life-saving criteria for the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF).2
- Neglecting the MISP in humanitarian settings has serious consequences: preventable maternal and newborn deaths; sexual violence and subsequent trauma; sexually transmitted infections; unwanted pregnancies and unsafe abortions; and the possible spread of HIV.
- Approximately 75 to 80 percent of all crisis-affected populations are women, children and youth who need and have a right to reproductive health services.3
- The MISP is an international standard as outlined in the Sphere Humanitarian Charter andMinimum Standards in Disaster Response.4
- The Global Health Cluster endorses the MISP as a minimum standard in health service provision in emergencies as outlined in the IASC Health Cluster Guide.5
- International laws support the rapid and unobstructed implementation of the MISP by humanitarian actors.6 Reproductive health services are also vital to realizing United Nations Security Council Resolutions 1325, 1820, 1888 and 1889 on Women, Peace and Security.
- The MISP can be implemented without a new needs assessment because documented evidence already justifies its use.
- In addition to health, activities of the MISP must be coordinated with other sectors/clusters, including protection and early recovery.
- As humanitarian actors become familiar with the priority activities of the MISP, they recognize that it can and should be provided within the context of other critical priorities, such as water, food, cooking fuel and shelter.
Note: Links provided only if resource is available to public.
2 UN OCHA, CERF Lifesaving Criteria and Sectoral Activities (Guidelines). 2009.
4 Sphere Project, Humanitarian Charter and Minimum Standards in Disaster Response, 2004 (revised).
5 IASC Global Health Cluster. Health Cluster Guide: A practical guide for country-level implementation of the Health Cluster. 2009.
6 Geneva Convention (IV) Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War (1948); Geneva Conventions, common art. 3; International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, art. 6; Geneva Convention (IV) Relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War, arts. 23, 55, 59, 60 (1948); Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of International Armed Conflicts (Protocol 1), art. 70; Protocol Additional to the Geneva Conventions of 12 August 1949, and relating to the Protection of Victims of Non International Armed Conflicts (Protocol II), arts. 9-11; Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW); the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR).
Updated December 2010. Please note: while this site is periodically updated, it is up to the user’s discretion to verify that the facts provided are the most current.
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