Islamabad: U.S. Mission Pakistan Deputy Chief of Mission Andrew Schofer named Pakistani midwife Neha Mankani as U.S. Mission Pakistan’s 2023 “Woman of Courage” at an event commemorating Women’s History Month on March 20.
Mankani, an alumna of the U.S. government-funded Fulbright Program, established the Mama Baby Fund in 2019 to support new mothers who could not afford prenatal and postnatal care.
In fall, 2022, she and her team courageously stepped in to serve pregnant women and babies in need in Sindh Province. She traveled to internally displaced people camps to provide prenatal care and kits to help ensure safe deliveries.
“Neha exemplifies leadership, courage, and strength, and we’re so pleased to see one of our Fulbright Program alumna making such a strong contribution to her country,” Schofer said.
Mankani commented, “In all of the climate-affected communities I have worked in – from the coastal islands of Karachi to displaced flood-affected communities in Sindh and Balochistan – it is very clear that climate change and complex emergencies affect women and children very differently. Imagine all of the vulnerabilities of being pregnant, in labor, or postpartum, having a newborn, and add to that displacement, a struggling health system, food insecurity, and being away from your community. The Mama Baby Fund emergency response and our community-based programs are centered around these gaps. Thank you to the U.S. Embassy for this recognition, for its support for flood-affected communities, and for continuing to raise awareness of the continuing humanitarian needs after the floods.”
U.S. Mission Pakistan’s 2023 Woman of Courage award is one of a wide range of efforts by the United States to support women and girls in Pakistan across sectors ranging from education to health to economic empowerment.