Help give women sanitary towels in emergencies | ActionAid UK

Wesal was 13 when her mother, who was pregnant at the time, was killed in an airstrike on their house in Syria. Devastated, the rest of the family took their few remaining possessions and fled for the border with Jordan.

But at the border, Wesal’s father was arrested. So her grandmother, Azziza, had no choice but to carry on, taking Wesal and her three sisters into Jordan in the hope of protecting them from more violence. They haven’t heard from their father since.

Azziza is doing her best to support her young granddaughters in Jordan. But it is very hard. When Wesal and her sisters have their periods, Azziza faces the heartbreaking choice of buying sanitary towels or food for them.

ActionAid provides sanitary towels for women and girls like Wesal in Jordan, and in countries across the world where humanitarian disasters mean that they can’t access clean and safe sanitary products. 

A regular gift from you could help ActionAid support women and girls in emergencies, so that they can manage their periods hygienically and with dignity.

Set up a £15 regular gift
An ActionAid worker distributes sanitary towels in a woman safe space.

£15 a month could help educate girls in the importance of sanitation during their period

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Set up a £10 regular gift
A school girl holds a pack of sanitary towels.

£10 a month could help build safe, clean toilets in schools so that girls can handle their periods hygienically

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Set up a £3 regular gift
Women collect sanitary towels as part of our dignity kit distribution.

£3 a month could help provide hygiene kits containing sanitary towels to girls who can’t afford to buy them 

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What we do

When a disaster strikes, women and girls tell us that amongst the items that they need are sanitary towels, wipes and soap. Without these products, they are forced to use improvised methods to manage their periods including torn pieces of clothing, rags or dirty rugs. This can be ineffective, uncomfortable and unhygienic. 

That is why we provide sanitary kits in our humanitarian response work, alongside other essentials including food, water and shelter. 

We have distributed sanitary towels in crises as wide-ranging as the Nepal earthquakes of 2015, in Jordan and in Greece as part of our response to the Syrian refugee crisis and in East Africa during the food crisis of 2017.

They are often distributed at our Women Friendly Spaces, which we set up in the aftermath of disasters to provide a safe space for women and girls who may be at risk of violence. 

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Or make a single donation

Income 2017

How we use the money you give us

For every £1 we spend:

72p is spent on programme activity, including humanitarian and development work

12p is spent on fundraising

9p is spent on support costs (running the organisation)

7p is spent on campaigning for change

These figures are taken from our expenditure in 2016.

We’re committed to keeping our supporters happy and being open and honest about how we fundraise. To find out more you can read our supporter promise.


The contents of a sanitary kit that ActionAid distributed to refugee women in Greece. It included sanitary towels, wipes, soap, pants, a toothbrush and toothpaste.

Photo: Karin Schermbrucker/ActionAid

Why we’re asking for a monthly gift

All money helps, and we’re grateful for whatever you feel you can afford.

A one-off donation is a fantastic start, but the kind of extreme poverty that many women and girls are facing are long-term problems, and they need long-term solutions. We don’t walk away. We’re committed to making a sustainable difference and changing lives for good.

Regular donations to ActionAid mean that when an emergency strikes we are able to act fast to provide life-saving aid and urgently needed supplies.

A regular gift from you means that we can commit to being there for women and girls who desperately need us, both now and in the future.

Please donate now and help change lives for good.

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Page updated 11 October 2017