“We had to run quickly: they were coming in at us. We could hear them from far. My whole life crumbled that same moment. I froze but I could hear my sister screaming: “move or they will kill you, or worse take you,” said Minar from Qamishli, in Syria, recollecting the moment she and her family had to flee their home in Syria and seek refuge in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.
To protect girls like Minar and ensure that no woman suffers or dies from gender-based violence in Iraq, the Government of Norway contributed to NOK 17 million (US$ 1,872,452 million) to UNFPA interventions aiming at mitigating, preventing and responding to gender-based violence in humanitarian crisis.
This contribution is part of the Government of Norway’s agreement to provide funding against the appeals in different countries including Iraq for a total amount of (approximately US$ 12,344,685 million) NOK 111.5 Million and (approximately US$ 2,7 million) NOK 25 million to the Humanitarian Thematic Fund. Norway is the top donor to UNFPA core resources in 2019.
In Iraq, UNFPA will utilise the funding to build the capacity of GBV actors, to prevent and respond to GBV through quality services provision targeting vulnerable survivors, including refugees, IDPs, returnees and host communities. Norway's contribution will also support UNFPA's efforts to strengthen policies and the legal framework on gender-based violence, as well as to change behaviours towards survivors of GBV.
“Protection against sexual and gender based violence and empowerment of women and girls is a top priority in Norway's humanitarian efforts. UNFPA is a trusted partner in this work”, says Tone Allers, the Norwegian Ambassador to Jordan and Iraq.
On his end, Dr Oluremi Sogunro, UNFPA Representative to Iraq, thanks the Government of Norway, for their continuous support to the Fund’s GBV programmes. “Norway has been a steady partner to UNFPA throughout the humanitarian crises that hit Iraq. I thank the Government of Norway for leaving no woman and girl behind by renewing its trust in our gender-based violence programmes. Together, we will ensure that women and girls across Iraq are protected and are given the opportunity to thrive.”