Canada funding supports sustainable reproductive health and protection services in Iraq

08 May 2018

Canada funding supports sustainable reproductive health and protection services in Iraq
New funding from Canada will support sexual and reproductive health services for women and girls in Iraq, as they rebuild their lives after conflict. © UNFPA Iraq

As Iraq rebuilds following the end of military operations, a new four-year UNFPA project funded by the Government of Canada will boost the country’s capacity to put in place robust services that promote sexual and reproductive health and address gender-based violence – supporting women and girls in their own recovery from a devastating three-year conflict that hit them especially hard.

The Can$5 million grant will enable UNFPA to support Iraq in its transition from humanitarian to longer-term development activities, towards increased access to and use of quality services, gender equality and women’s empowerment.

“While Iraq and its people must still continue to address immediate humanitarian needs, attention must now also turn to longer-term priorities. It is important that government decisions and systems related to the delivery of reproductive health services are adequately informed by the needs of women,” said Claude Désilets, Head of Cooperation at the Embassy of Canada in Iraq.

Working with partners in Government and civil society – including the Ministries of Health and Interior as well as the Directorate for Combating Violence against Women – the project will enhance the capacities of policymakers to develop and implement policies that expand access to information and services, and train health workers to deliver them more effectively. On the demand side, UNFPA and its partners will work with communities – engaging both women and girls as well as men and boys – to ensure that people have the information they need to make informed choices about their rights and health, and address social norms that reinforce gender-based violence.

This grant is part of Canada’s strong overall support for UNFPA development and humanitarian activities, amounting to over Can$128 million in 2018 alone. Canada has also been a longstanding donor to UNFPA’s operations in Iraq. This latest contribution brings Canada’s financial support to the Fund’s gender and reproductive health programmes in Iraq to approximately US$ 30 million since December 2014.

“UNFPA is a strong, capable and trusted partner in Iraq,” said Mr. Désilets.

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