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PRESS RELEASE: FORWARD welcomes government announcement of £35 million FGM fund

PRESS RELEASE: FORWARD welcomes government announcement of £35 million FGM fund

FORWARD welcomes today’s announcement from DFID Parliamentary Under-secretary Lynne Featherstone, of a £35 million fund for Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) related work in the UK and abroad.

The fund will support work in at least ten priority countries internationally and also work with diaspora communities in the UK.

140 million girls and women around the world are estimated to have undergone FGM. Research by FORWARD has also found that up to 24,000 girls under the age of 15 years, in the UK are at risk of FGM each year.

Speaking on today’s announcement FORWARD’s Executive Director Naana Otoo-Oyortey said:

“Today’s announcement from DFID Minister Lynne Featherstone about the creation of a £35 million fund to tackle FGM is brilliant news for all those that have been campaigning to end FGM in the UK and internationally. FGM is a form of violence and a rights violation that affects millions of girls worldwide and thousands in the UK. We are proud that the UK Government has demonstrated a willingness to take a lead on tackling FGM globally.

Speaking on behalf of FORWARD, we are especially pleased that the government has committed some of the fund to work with diaspora communities in the UK. Engaging practising communities in the UK is a crucial step to ending FGM in their countries of origin.”

For media enquiries please contact: Rukayah Sarumi: [email protected] or Naomi Reid [email protected] **Tel:** 020 8960 4000

Notes to Editors:

• FORWARD has been campaigning against FGM and other forms of Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG) affecting African women and girls for 27 years.

• FORWARD’s key areas of work are: female genital mutilation (FGM), child marriage and related rights abuses of girls and women.

• FORWARD works in the UK, Europe and Africa to help change practices and policies that affect access, dignity and wellbeing. www.forwarduk.org.uk Twitter: @FORWARDUK

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