World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Iraq: UN officials voice concern about abuse of women, girls

Iraq: UN officials voice concern about humanitarian situation, abuse of women, girls

2 July 2014

Amid reports of deliberate targeting of women and girls in Iraq, senior United Nations officials today voiced deep concern about the deteriorating humanitarian and security situations in the country, where more than 1.2 million people have fled their homes in fear for their lives.

“As the security situation continues to worsen, I am extremely worried about the families urgently in need of water, food, shelter, healthcare, sanitation and protection from violence,” said Valerie Amos, Under-Secretary-General for Humanitarian Affairs and UN Emergency Relief Coordinator.

That includes targeting of women and children, who have reportedly been kidnapped, raped and forcibly married to militants of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL/ISIS) and other armed groups.

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women, expressed deep concern yesterday following the reported suicides of some women who had been raped, and of men who had been forced to watch the rape of their wives and daughters.

“UN Women strongly condemns sexual and gender-based violence, and calls on all parties to address such reports and protect the rights of Iraqi women and girls,” she said.

Ms. Mlambo-Ngcuka said such targeting is “a grave violation of human rights” and warned against the risk of growing extremism to women’s rights in the region and worldwide.

An estimated 20,000 women and girls in Iraq are at an increased risk of sexual violence as a result of the mounting crisis in the north and west, the UN Population Fund (UNFPA) said earlier this week.

The agency also noted since this latest violence erupted three weeks ago in northern Iraq, of the approximately one million people displaced by the crisis, some 250,000 women and girls – including nearly 60,000 pregnant women – are in need of urgent health care.

In total, more than 2.2 million people are now displaced in Iraq, including one million people already seeking refuge in Iraq as a result of the Syrian conflict and previous conflicts.

The bulk of them have fled to the autonomous Kurdish region, where UN agencies are doing their best to support the humanitarian response despite continued finding and ongoing security constraints, Ms. Amos said, adding: “But we have struggled to raise the funds required.”

To that end, she echoed UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s gratitude to the Government of Saudi Arabia, which yesterday donated $500 million towards the humanitarian effort.

More than 2,417 Iraqis were killed last month and another 2,287 were injured in acts of terrorism and violence, according to the UN Assistance Mission in the country (UNAMI) human rights team.

Mr. Ban and senior UN officials have called for the immediate formation of an inclusive Government in the country and for all sides to take immediate steps to protect civilians.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On How Obama’s Supreme Court Choice Says Everything (Bad) About His Presidency

Nothing has epitomised the presidency of Barack Obama quite like his Supreme Court nominees. Time and again, Republican presidents will blithely nominate right wing ideological extremists (Antonin Scalia, Samuel Alito, Clarence Thomas) who only sometimes misfire and turn out to be liberals in disguise (David Souter). Yet Obama has consistently skipped over the judicially qualified liberals and gone for a succession of centrists... More>>

ALSO:

Turkey: UN Secretary-General On The Terrorist Bombing In Ankara

The Secretary-General condemns the terrorist attack in Ankara earlier today. According to the latest reports, the explosion in the Kizilay district killed and wounded dozens of people. More>>

ALSO:

Five Years On: Fukushima And New Zealand

Science Media Centre: It was the worst nuclear event since Chernobyl. In the wake of the 2011 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami, a crippled Japanese nuclear powerplant went into meltdown, and the world watched as emergency workers scrambled to shut down and contain the reactors. More>>

ALSO:

UNICEF: 1 In 3 Syrian Children Has Grown Up Knowing Only Crisis

An estimated 3.7 million Syrian children – 1 in 3 of all Syrian children - have been born since the conflict began five years ago, their lives shaped by violence, fear and displacement, according to a UNICEF report. This figure includes more than 151,000 children born as refugees since 2011. More>>

ALSO:

Franklin Lamb: Syria’s Truce Bodes Well For Salvaging Our Cultural Heritage

The tentative cessation of hostilities in Syria, which came into effect on 2/28/2016, brokered by Washington and Moscow, is only in its second week... It is well documented that there have been daily incidents of artillery shelling, airstrikes and clashes. Yet, for the nearly 12 million displaced civilians, half of Syria’s population, it’s a much welcomed respite. More>>

Gordon Campbell: On Rubio’s Last Stand (And Sleater-Kinney)

Well, it certainly was entertaining to watch Rubio succeed in getting under Donald Trump’s skin the other day, in the last debate before tomorrow’s Super Tuesday multi-state sweepstakes... The real killer for Rubio was that the most recent poll from Florida which shows him losing his home state to Trump by a huge margin in the primary due on March 15. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news