France commits 1.5 million dollars to UNFPA to empower survivors of gender-based violence in Iraq
09 Feb 2022
09 Feb 2022
BAGHDAD, Iraq – France has contributed $1.5 million to UNFPA in Iraq to support one shelter and three women protection centres for women survivors of violence in Iraq.
UNFPA has been working with the government and partners in Iraq to prevent and respond to gender-based violence in the country. In 2014, following the major humanitarian crisis in Iraq caused by the armed conflict, UNFPA launched its first emergency humanitarian interventions to respond to urgent needs related to reproductive health and gender-based violence.
The new agreement between France and UNFPA Iraq will enable UNFPA to ensure the protection and safety of women and girls in Basra, Mosul and Anbar by establishing three new protection centres in collaboration with local authorities. In Baghdad, a women’s shelter will be refurbished in partnership with the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs.
The new funding from France will allow the centres to offer critical medical, psychosocial and legal services to women and girls in need. They will also provide livelihood skills, including computer training, as well as life skills courses to support their reintegration into their communities.
“We are happy that the shelter will be refurbished and new activities will be offered to the survivors. These women and girls should not be forgotten. I hope that the activities and skills they will be taught will give them the confidence to face the challenges and build new lives for themselves,” said Darya, a social worker at the women's shelter in Baghdad.
Recalling that ending gender-based violence is a top priority for France, Dr Eric Chevallier, Ambassador of France to Iraq, “called on the new parliament and the future government to put this issue high on their agenda to ensure that women and girls have the opportunity to thrive and become stronger contributors to society.”
“The establishment of women protection centres is a step forward in the fight against gender-based violence in Iraq”, stated Dr Rita Columbia, UNFPA Representative in Iraq. “They should become an integral part of the Government’s response to gender-based violence to make sure that women and girls have a safe haven to seek protection”.
France has been a strong partner of UNFPA and a defender of women’s health and lives. Recently, France also committed to UNFPA Supplies Partnership with EUR90 million to prevent unintended pregnancies, unsafe abortions and maternal deaths all around the world.