The humanitarian situation in Iraq continues to deteriorate. The violence between armed groups and government forces has displaced over 3 million people from their homes. The capacity of the Government to respond to the basic needs of its citizens has been overwhelmed. While Daesh has lost considerable territory in 2016, it is expected that humanitarian needs will remain significant in the coming years. More people will be displaced by the conflict, while many will remain displaced in camps and host communities. However, there will also be growing numbers of people returning to areas no longer under the control of Daesh who will also need assistance to help restart their lives. With GAC’s support, Islamic Relief Canada is contributing by meeting the health, psychosocial and protection needs of vulnerable Iraqi women and girls affected by sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV). Project activities include: (1) establishing women and girls centres to provide assistance and a safe space for psychosocial first aid, counselling and recreational activities; (2) improving the coverage and referral system of basic and comprehensive emergency obstetric and neonatal care services and family planning services; (3) developing case identification and referral pathways, and follow-up of cases for survivors of SGBV; (4) providing psychosocial support to survivors of SGBV; (5) training social workers on life skills and peer education, and conduct education for adolescent girls and women; and (6) organizing community and religious events to raise awareness on SGBV and child and early forced marriages (CEFM).
The expected outcomes for this project include: (1) increased access by women and girls to specialized assistance and services in response to SGBV; (2) increased availability and use of integrated sexual and reproductive health services, including obstetric and neonatal and family planning services; (3) improved identification, referral and follow-up services for survivors of SGBV; (4) improved capacity of social workers to provide life skills and peer education; and (5) improved community awareness about SGBV, CEFM and psychosocial services. The expected ultimate outcome is lives saved, suffering alleviated and human dignity maintained in countries experiencing humanitarian crisis or that are food insecure.