Erbil, Iraq – February 21, 2023: The Kurdistan Regional Government’s (KRG) Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs (MOLSA), today signed a memorandum of understanding with SEED Foundation, and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in Iraq, formalizing their partnership for the establishment of a Gender-Based Violence Sector Coordination Group (GBV SCG) for the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI).
This coordination mechanism replaces the former UN-led National GBV Sub-Cluster, and represents the end of the nation’s transition from humanitarian to development designation, which officially concluded at the end of 2022. The GBV SCG also formally recognizes the need for local leadership and ownership over national and regional protection coordination efforts.
Together, MOLSA and SEED will co-chair the GBV SCG in the KRI. The co-chairs will be responsible for the operationalization of the GBV SCG at the KRI level and the reactivation of governorate level Working Groups (WGs). The co-chairs will jointly develop the necessary guidelines, standards, and tools required to support improved protections for survivors of violence and those at-risk, and lead on the prioritization of needs and gaps across the sector, in alignment with existing government strategies.
Together with SEED, UNFPA will continue to provide technical and capacity building support to MOLSA, and assist in the logistics and convening of all national and international protection actors present in the KRI.
All parties to the MOU share a common goal, to effectively address the ongoing humanitarian and protection challenges that men, women, girls, and boys, in the KRI continue to face; using coherent, sustainable, human rights-based, and survivor-centered approaches.
The co-chairs will take leadership of the GBV SCG effective immediately, and convene the first session of all sitting members in March.
SEED Foundation is a local NGO in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq, committed to protecting, empowering, and supporting the recovery of survivors of violence and others at risk. Our approach to this mission is integrative and holistic. We provide quality and comprehensive services, including mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS), legal, protection, and shelter services; training, capacity building, and education to those working to protect and serve survivors; and policy and advocacy to strengthen laws, policies, practices and protections for vulnerable people, and promote social change.