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22 June 2021; Erbil, Kurdistan Region of Iraq - The UN Assistant Secretary General and UNFPA Deputy Executive Director, Mr Ib Petersen, UNFPA Regional Director for the Arab States, Dr Luay Shabaneh, and UNFPA Representative to Iraq, Dr Rita Columbia, visited on 21 June the Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government, Mr Masrour Barzani, in attendance of the Minister of Planning, Dr Dara Rasheed and the Head of the Department of Foreign Relations, Mr Safeen Dizayee. 

During the meeting, Mr Petersen and Mr Barzani talked about the cooperation between UNFPA and the Kurdistan Regional Government in the areas of population data, prevention of gender-based violence, and youth participation. The dialogue also focused on the UNFPA technical support for the Population and Housing Census and population analysis. 

The two officials discussed the issue of women shelters in the Kurdistan Region and how to strengthen the referral mechanisms through the judicial court.

Mr Petersen thanked the Kurdistan Regional Government for the partnership with UNFPA on women and youth-related interventions, emphasised the need for reliable data to ensure the development and implementation of people-centred policies based on evidence.

For his part, Prime Minister Barzani reiterated his government’s support to UNFPA programmes and interventions in the Kurdistan Region of 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 Specialist, - 009647809171035