The Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) contributed SEK 16 million (approximately US$ 1.73 million) to UNFPA response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Iraq.
UNFPA launched in May its COVID-19 response plan for Iraq seeking US$ 1.7 million to meet the needs of women and girls across Iraq.The funds will allow UNFPA to scale up COVID-19 interventions to ensure that women and girls, especially pregnant women and survivors of gender-based violence, including those in quarantine, have timely and safe access to health and protection services.
UNFPA will also provide the Ministry of Health reproductive health supplies, including modern contraceptives and maternal health medicines as well as Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).
"I am very pleased to announce the agreement signed today between the Swedish International Development Agency and UNFPA in support of its COVID-19 response plan for Iraq. This contribution of SEK 16 million aims to protect women and girls to safe access to health and protection at a much needed time," said Mr Lars Ronnås (pictured), Ambassador of Sweden to Iraq, during the online signature of the grant today.
"Sweden will support five strategic interventions identified by the UNFPA including to protect pregnant women and survivors of gender-based violence. To ensure equal protection and rights for women is an important part of Sweden's development cooperation," he elaborated.
"UNFPA Iraq will continue to engage the community in awareness campaigns and ensure that women and girls have access to life-saving, multi-sectoral services. These activities will help to curb the spread of COVID-19," commented Dr Oluremi Sogunro, UNFPA Representative to Iraq.
"We are grateful for Sweden's commitment to women and girls in Iraq through their trust and partnership with UNFPA in Iraq. We have reached thousands of women thanks to this partnership," he added.
Sida has been a reliable partner to UNFPA during the humanitarian crises in Iraq since 2016 providing more than SEK 140 million to UNFPA humanitarian programmes in Iraq.