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Australia commits to three more years of support to UNFPA interventions in Iraq

26 April 2018; Erbil, Iraq - The Government of Australia has committed to providing UNFPA Iraq with an allocation of AUD 12 million over three years. The timely allocation will support the emergency reproductive health (RH) and gender-based violence (GBV) related services in the country.

As in all humanitarian crises, women and girls are excessively affected by violence. In Iraq, gender-based violence, including sexual violence and forced marriages, was used as a weapon of war mainly by the Islamic State in Iraq and Levant (ISIS). In areas of ISIS occupation, women and girls were deprived of basic reproductive health services.

As the country now enters a post-conflict phase, providing quality services to women and girls is a priority. With the recent commitment from the Government of Australia, UNFPA will increase the availability of and access to specialized reproductive health and gender-based violence related services and improve national capacity to sustain these services.

Dr Joanne Loundes, Australia’s Ambassador to Iraq, said: “Gender equality and women's empowerment is a core part of Australia’s foreign policy, economic diplomacy and development work.  We know that supporting women helps economic development, security and stability.  We are pleased to be able to fund the work of the UNFPA because it directly contributes to this objective.”

Acknowledging the contribution, Mr Ramanathan Balakrishnan, UNFPA Representative to Iraq, said: “UNFPA is grateful for the multi-year allocation from the Government of Australia highlighting its continued trust in and support to UNFPA’s mandate. The women of Iraq are desperately in need of our support and this contribution will go a long way towards helping them rebuild themselves.”

“With these funds, UNFPA will focus on the provision of GBV and RH services in the governorates of Anbar, Salahuddin, Ninewa, and Kirkuk and will intensify its advocacy for a safe and protected environment for women across the country”, he added.

Australia has been a consistent and reliable partner for UNFPA’s work in Iraq, and this new allocation will bring Australia’s commitment to UNFPA in Iraq to a total of AUD 16 million since October 2014. This latest contribution comes as part of Australia’s three-year AUD 100 million Humanitarian and Stabilisation package for Iraq.


UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, delivers a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person’s potential is fulfilled.

For more information or media inquiries please contact: Salwa Moussa, Communications Analyst,