The Country Director of Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) in Iraq, Mr Lee Dong Hyun and UNFPA Representative to Iraq, Dr Rita Columbia, signed a two-year agreement of 3 million dollars, in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Environment and the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs.
This new grant will go towards assisting survivors of gender-based violence (GBV), in particular, those affected by conflict-related sexual violence, in Kirkuk and Nineveh Governorates through the increase of access to comprehensive mental health and psychosocial support and other GBV related services.
The launch of the project was attended by the Minister of Labour and Social Affairs, Dr Adel Al-Rakabi, the Acting Minister of Health and Environment, Dr Hani Mousa Badr, the Ambassador of the Republic of Korea in Iraq, HE Jang Kyungwook as well as representatives from KOICA and UNFPA.
Speaking at the event, He Al-Rakabi highlighted the needs of survivors of violence and the need to further bolster the GBV response, referrals and follow-up. He welcomed the new contribution and called the international community to increase its support for women affairs in Iraq.
For his part, Dr Badr thanked Korea, and KOICA in particular, for their continued assistance to the health system in Iraq and the capacity development of medical staff; a support that is much appreciated especially as the country battles the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Korean Ambassador said: "The project launched today will give hope and recovery to women living in the northern part of Iraq. The beneficiaries will know that Korean international community and the government of Iraq are supporting them closely. All of us should regard the voice of the beneficiaries as the highest priority, so that the result of the project may actually change the lives of the people."
UNFPA Representative expressed gratitude to KOICA: "With thanks to KOICA funding, UNFPA with the Ministry of Labour & Social Affairs and the Ministry of Health & Environment will reach more girls and women with GBV and Mental Health and Psychosocial support services. Together, we will strengthen the capacity of service providers in Nineveh and Kirkuk to allow comprehensive service delivery to survivors and build the capacity of the government medical staff for a coordinated multi-sectoral response to GBV prevention and response services."
The speeches were followed by two presentations from KOICA & UNFPA on the project implementation and expected results.
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