Canada commits to four more years of support to UNFPA in Iraq
The Government of Canada has announced a four-year contribution of CAD 5 million to the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Iraq to build the capacity of national institutions to implement gender and reproductive health interventions across the country.
Despite the end of military operations against the Islamic State in Iraq and Levant (ISIL), the devastating impact of the three-year war on women and girls in Iraq remains profound.
The latest multi-year grant from the Government of Canada will enable UNFPA to transition its current humanitarian interventions towards longer-term development programs that will enhance gender equality and empowerment of women, and increase access to and utilization of quality reproductive health services.
“While Iraq and its people must still continue to address immediate humanitarian needs, attention must now also turn to longer-term priorities. It is important that government decisions and system related to the delivery of reproductive health services are adequately informed by the needs of women,” said Claude Désilets, Head of Cooperation at the Embassy of Canada in Iraq.
“It is a priority for Canada to support the Government of Iraq and Iraqi civil society as the best possible way of ensuring long-term sustainability of quality reproductive health service delivery. Canada is very happy to work with UNFPA on this most important of Canadian international assistance priorities. UNFPA is a strong, capable and trusted partner in Iraq,” he added.
Mr Ramanathan Balakrishnan, UNFPA Representative to Iraq, reiterated the importance of the Canadian contribution to the communities in Iraq:
“During the war against ISIL, UNFPA provided a significant volume of reproductive health and gender-based violence response services in Iraq. As the country enters a new phase of recovery and reconstruction, it is imperative to support government institutions, local partners, and communities in their effort to promote gender equality, women’s empowerment, and in advancing reproductive health and rights.”
Canada has been a longstanding and donor to UNFPA operations in Iraq. The latest contribution brings Canada’s financial contribution to approximately US$ 30 million in support of the Fund’s gender and reproductive health programmes in Iraq since December 2014.