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The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has been working with a focus on improving sexual and reproductive health service capacity, promoting gender equality, and supporting women’s empowerment in Iraq since 2011.
When the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant took over the country’s second-largest city, Mosul in mid-2014, most maternity wards and hospitals were closed, while the ones that remained open were not easily accessible which put the lives of approximately 60,000 pregnant women at a big risk.
In October 2016, military operations were launched to retake the city and its surrounding leading to the displacement of more than one million civilians between October 2016 and June 2017. UNFPA was one of the first Agencies to intervene.
Responding to the massive displacement was an immense challenge to UNFPA. The Agency relied on a camp-centric aid approach and mobilised all its available resources to front-line areas, providing basic services to civilians still located within newly or nearly liberated Mosul neighbourhoods.
The response focused on three aspects; planning, coordination, and service delivery through the Rapid Response Mechanism consortium and Protection and Health clusters, in addition to the establishment of Women Centres and the provision and support of reproductive health facilities.
Over two years, the Fund established 46 Community and Women Centres, distributed more than 220,00 dignity kits, supported 62 reproductive health facilities allowing the safe delivery of more than 33,000 babies and providing close to 500,000 consultations.