The European Commission has announced today an additional €5 million in support of concrete projects of the two 2018 Nobel Peace Prize laureates, Nadia Murad and Dr Denis Mukwege maintaining its commitment to women who are victims of sexual violence.
This new support was announced today in Brussels as High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini and Commissioner for International Cooperation and Development, Neven Mimica, met with Nadia Murad and Dr Denis Mukwege. The two winners were invited to discuss the eradication of violence against women and its impact on development, together with EU development Ministers at the Foreign Affairs Council.
High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini said: "As the European Union, we admire the immense courage and tireless work of Nadia Murad and Dr Denis Mukwege, who often put their own lives at risk. We have a duty to support their work and all the people they represent, as we are doing, and this is also the best way to celebrate the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women."
Commissioner Neven Mimica added: "Violence against women and girls is one of the most horrendous crimes, one of the greatest injustices of our time, and an obstacle to the development of any society. I am very pleased to be able to strengthen our support for the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize laureates. This is how the European Union can help put an end to sexual violence, once and for all, everywhere in the world."
The EU plans to strengthen its ongoing stabilisation and reconstruction efforts in the Sinjar region in Iraq through a €1 million contribution to Nadia Murad's "Sinjar Action Fund" initiative. European development cooperation in the liberated areas of Da'esh in the country supports in particular the needs of displaced populations, vulnerable groups and local communities.
A further €4 million will support Dr Mukwege's work to ensure the continuity of support programmes for victims of sexual violence and women suffering from gynecological conditions at the Panzi Hospital in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).
Support to the "Sinjar Action Fund" Initiative in Iraq
This initiative for the reconstruction of Sinjar will create infrastructure, schools, hospitals, and encourage the return of displaced populations to their homeland.
Since 2014, the European Union's development cooperation in Iraq amounts to approximately €310 million. Part of this funding is specifically dedicated to the stabilisation and the socio-economic reconstruction of the areas liberated from Da'esh. EU support helps create the conditions for sustainable return of displaced people, including by clearing contaminated sites, restoring basic services and providing livelihoods. Since the beginning of the crisis, more than 1.7 million displaced people have returned to their homes.
Support to Panzi Hospital in the Democratic Republic of Congo
Panzi hospital is internationally recognised as a reference model for care provided to victims of sexual violence. This additional funding brings EU support in development cooperation and humanitarian aid for Dr Mukwege's Panzi Foundation to some €19 million.
Dr Mukwege has set up a socio-economic reintegration programme for children and women used as sex slaves in the mining areas of the South Kivu province in DRC. These programmes have achieved very important results in the medical treatment of gynecological conditions caused by sexual violence. 50,000 women have already been treated, and another 500 have benefited from support for social and economic integration and legal assistance. Girl victims of sexual abuse and forced labour have given access to education.
Spotlight Initiative of the European Union and the United Nations
The European support for the two 2018 Nobel Peace Prize laureates is part of its broader commitment to gender equality and women's empowerment globally. The EU has established an ambitious partnership with the United Nations by launching the "Spotlight Initiative" in September 2017. This programme is supported by €500 million to fight all forms of violence against women and girls.
Following the South-East Asia programme of the Spotlight initiative launched in November 2017 and the Latin America programme launched in September 2018, the Africa programme will be officially launched in early 2019. With €250 million in funding, the Africa programme will focus on combating harmful practices, such as female genital mutilation and forced child marriage.
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