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Erbil, Iraq – 15 December 2019; The Kurdistan Regional Government, represented by the Kurdistan High Council for Women Affairs (KHCWA), launched, with the support of UNFPA, the Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) Communication for Behavioural Impact (COMBI) plan for the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, on 15 December.

In the Kurdistan Region alone, close to 15,000 girls have been circumcised in the last year. The prevalence of FGM has been higher in the Kurdistan region than in the rest of Iraq,

UNFPA Deputy Representative to Iraq, Mr Himyar Abdulmoghni, said: “UNFPA is determined to end gender-based violence and harmful practices, especially Female Genital Mutilation. This practice is not only unnecessary and painful but is non-medical and has zero health benefits for girls. In fact, FGM practice threatens a girl’s ability to build a better future for herself, her family and her community”.

In Iraq, with the support of the European Regional Development and Protection Programme for Lebanon, Jordan, and Iraq (RDPP), UNFPA and KHCWA developed a communication for behavioural impact plan for this purpose.

The COMBI plan stipulates that teams from the Ministries of Religious Affairs, Interior (GDCVAW), Justice, Health, Education and Labour and Social Affairs will approach an initial 7,500 mothers in the next 12 months with awareness-raising campaigns in order to save young girls from this harmful practice in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, especially in the areas of Sulaymaniyah, Erbil, Duhok and Halabja Governorates.

“Our goal is not only to protect girls who are currently at risk but to also ensure that those to be born in the future will be free from the dangers of the practice,” concluded Mr Abdulmoghni.

The event was attended by Ms Kwestan Mohamad Abdulla Maarouf, Minister of Labor and Social Affairs, members of the Parliament, representatives of the diplomatic corps and members of the civil society. The launch included speeches, a presentation of the COMBI plan, a short film on the risks of FGM and its repercussions, and as well as panels discussions on the risks and best approaches to end FGM.



The European Regional Development and Protection Programme for Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq (RDPP II) is a joint European initiative running until 2021. The Programme is supported by the Czech Republic, Denmark, the European Union, Ireland and Switzerland.


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.

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Salwa Moussa, Communications Specialist,, 00964 780 917 1035