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Improving Services to Survivors in Iraq of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence

Moving towards a holistic care model in Iraq

Late last year, we launched the Genocide Recovery and Persecution Response – Learning and Pilots project to assist USAID/Iraq by exploring more effective approaches to aiding survivors and victims of gender-based violence (GBV). 

GBV takes many forms in Iraq including honor killings, child marriage, bridal exchange, restrictions on women’s mobility in the public space and low female labor participation and secondary school enrollment.

However, in the context of armed violence, surging poverty, human rights abuse and disruption of traditional social networks and protection mechanisms, women and girls become increasingly vulnerable to GBV. Survivors rarely have access to services to help them heal and recover or deal with ongoing abuses.

Drawing on our experiences across the developing world, we will establish partnerships with the humanitarian community, and community-based organizations to build on existing efforts to provide immediate, life-saving and long-term services to survivors and consider a move to a holistic care model.

The project will also conduct assessments, design pilot projects testing improved interventions to learn, share and scale up promising approaches.

By identifying best practices and approaches to addressing GBV in conflict and post-conflict settings, USAID and the humanitarian community will be better positioned to respond effectively to the needs of women and girls.