Today I announce that Australia will provide $2 million in assistance to support the hundreds of thousands of women and girls affected by the ongoing violence in Iraq.

This is part of the Australian Government’s efforts to help Iraq protect its people from the terror and brutality of ISIL.

Women and girls are bearing the brunt of this conflict as ISIL targets women, children and minorities for sexual violence and expectant mothers are forced to flee their homes.

Australian funding will support the United Nations Population Fund to address the specific needs of displaced women and girls, as well as victims of gender-based violence.

It will also scale up delivery of reproductive health care, including obstetric services for around 250,000 pregnant women.

The crisis in Iraq has displaced 1.8 million people since the start of the year, while it has affected many millions more across the country.

This funding is in addition to $5 million provided for emergency humanitarian assistance to people fleeing violence in northern Iraq, and two air drops of relief items for besieged communities on Mount Sinjar and in Amerli.

Australia has also provided around $130 million in humanitarian support in response to the crisis in Syria, including $20 million in funding to Lebanon and Jordan to support refugees fleeing across their borders.

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