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19 November 2020; Kurdistan Region of Iraq - During disease outbreaks, women face a variety of risks, yet they are too often absent in the design of pandemic responses. This has been true in the COVID-19 experience thus far and with high numbers of COVID-19 cases on daily basis, the health system in the Kurdistan region of Iraq has been burdened and the resources are being exhausted fast.

UNFPA is working with the Kurdistan Regional Government to strengthen the capacity of their health systems, to procure and deliver essential medical supplies, to ensure access to sexual and reproductive health and gender-based violence services, and to promote risk communication and community engagement.

On 18 November, UNFPA Deputy Representative, Mr Himyar Abdulmoghni, delivered the fourth shipment of personal protective equipment to the Minister of Health in the Kurdistan Region, Dr Saman Barzanji, in presence of the member of the Kurdish Parliament Health Committee, Mr Zana Mala Khalid. PPEs worth US$226,007 have been delivered to the Ministry so far with the financial support from the Swedish Government. These PPEs include coveralls, long-sleeve gowns, face shields, eye goggles, aprons, head covers, and shoe covers to front-line health workers.

The delivery of shipment was preceded with a meeting between the UNFPA Delegation, Minister Barzanji and Mr Khalid where discussions focused on the strengthening of capacities of the Ministry of health staff in the governmental maternal hospitals and the future potential projects between the Ministry and UNFPA in related to the maternal services in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

During the meeting, the Minister expressed this appreciation to UNFPA support to the Ministry of Health, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic and he emphasised the importance of the role the Fund played during the humanitarian crises in the last few years.

For his part, Mr Abdulmoghni reiterated that UNFPA was proud to consider itself partners with the Kurdistan Regional Government in fighting COVID-19 and to front-line health workers who are dedicated to saving lives. “UNFPA will continue to advocate with national and local authorities to ensure that the response to women needs, including that of female health workers, is prioritised,” he concluded.


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 Ms Salwa Moussa, Communications Specialist,