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

 

Ban Condemns Killing Of Former Lesotho Military Commander

United Nations Secretary-General today condemned the killing of Lt. Gen. Maaparankoe Mahao, former Commander of the Lesotho Defence Force, on 25 June, near Maseru. More>>

Ban Welcomes US Supreme Court Ruling On Same-Sex Marriage

Ban welcomes US Supreme Court ruling guaranteeing right to same-sex marriage Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) pride march. Photo: OHCHR/Joseph Smida More>>

UN Agency Welcomes EU Measures On Refugee Arrivals

Afghan refugees in front of the abandoned hotel Captain Elias on Kos Island, Greece, where hundreds of refugees and migrants are waiting for their registration. Photo: UNHCR/J. Akkash More>>

Increase In Voluntary Blood Donors Can Save Millions Of Lives

Increase in voluntary blood donors can save millions of lives, UN health agency says on World Day More>>

Kenya: Funding Shortage Means Food Cut To 500,000 Refugees

Funding shortage forces UN agency to temporarily cut food aid to 500,000 refugees in Kenya More>>

UN Launches Education Appeal In Fight Against Child Labour

12 June 2015 – The United Nations has announced it is marking the 2015 edition of the World Day Against Child Labour with a call for the international community to invest in quality education as a key step in the fight against child employment ... More>>

Pope Francis & UN Agency On Sustainability Of Agriculture

Pope Francis (centre) with delegates to the 39th FAO Conference during a special audience at the Vatican. Photo: FAO More>>

South Sudan: Call For De-Escalation Of In-Country Conflict

Women and children have suffered devastating attacks in South Sudan’s Unity State. Photo: UNICEF/South Sudan/Sebastian Rich More>>

Burundi: Emergency Support To Refugees Fleeing Burundi Crisis

Burundians fleeing pre-election violence rest on the shores of Lake Tanganyika in the Democratic Republic of Congo after a gruelling 22-hour boat journey. More than 100,000 Burundians have fled over the past month, arriving in Tanzania, Rwanda and ... More>>

Afghanistan: Commitment To Advancing Women's Rights

While the outgoing senior United Nations rights official in Afghanistan said she expected the human rights advances made “will be sustained, will not be rolled back, and will not be sacrificed,” she lamented the high level of violence against ... More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news