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Devteşti Women and Girls Safe Space is Officially Opened - 18 October 2017, Şanlıurfa

18 October 2017

United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Women and Girls Safe Space (WGSS) in Devteşti Şanlıurfa is opened with an official ceremony on 18 October 2017. Devtesti WGSS centre is funded by European Union Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid (ECHO) and is managed in cooperation with Ministry of Health and run by Harran University.

Harran University Rector Prof. Dr. Ramazan Taşaltın, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Representative to Turkey Karl Kulessa, Southern Anatolian Project Regional Development Administration President Sadrettin Karahocagil, General Directorate of Public Health Chief of Migrant Health Department Dr. Kanuni Keklik among the guests attended the opening ceremony in Şanlıurfa.

In his opening remarks, General Directorate of Public Health Chief of Migrant Health Department Dr. Kanuni Keklik noted that thanks to UNFPA Turkey and Ministry of Health’s corporation, we are opening this centre which does an important job in providing primary health care services to the refugee women and men in Turkey. Dr. Keklik added that these centres should be visited by the refugee women and girls as frequently as possible. Dr. Keklik also added that “Refugees should visit these centres even when they are not sick, yet they should access the health services and information that these centres are there to provide.” 

Next, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Representative to Turkey Karl Kulessa took the stage to deliver his opening remarks. Kulessa said “UNFPA Turkey Country Office has been working on humanitarian response programming since 2011. Women and children make a substantial majority of refugees. We see securing their safety, dignity and health ensures the well-being of families and communities as a priority”. Kulessa continued to add that “Women and Girls Safe Spaces aim to provide reproductive health services along with psycho-social support and empowerment activities for the prevention of gender based violence including referral to better respond to such cases. Today we are opening Devtesti centre. I am confident that this centre will be another important safe entry point for services and a place to access information that is crucial for the most vulnerable refugee women and girls. Sanlıurfa will host 4 more WGSS soon. By the end of 2017, the total number of active UNFPA Women and Girls Safe Spaces centres in Turkey will be 41.” 

After the opening ceremony, the guests toured the centre and received information from the centre’s staff.

United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) was established in 1969 and as the biggest aid source with international funding in the area of population operating around the world. UNFPA operates in more than 150 countries for creating policies and strategies that support sustainable development. Having started its activities on a project basis, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has been working on reproductive health, encouraging social gender equality, collecting, using and distributing data about development and humanitarian aid in Turkey since 1971. Within this framework, the first Country Program lasted from 1988 to 1992 and now the Sixth Country Program (2016-2020) is being executed.

The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) works to deliver a world where every pregnancy is wanted, every childbirth is safe and every young person's potential is fulfilled. To this end, UNFPA focuses especially 4 of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs); SDG 3: Good health and well-being, SDG 4: Quality Education, SDG 5: Gender Equality and finally, SDG 17: Partnerships for Goals

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