US, UK unveil $10m funding for GBV fight

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Gender Based Violence
Gender Based Violence

THE United Kingdom and the United States of America (USA) have unveiled a US$10.2 million financial package to boost the fight against Gender Based Violence (GBV) in Zambia.
The deal was signed by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) and the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) in Lusaka yesterday.
Speaking during the launch of a One Stop GBV Centre at Lusaka’s Ng’ombe Township clinic, USAID country director, Susan Brems urged everyone to be proactive on gender violence issues in order to have a new generation that did not condone such violence, in communities.
“The United States (US) government supports this work through the US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), DFID are pooling resources to invest in the 24 districts of which 16 districts have been opened so far,” Dr Brems said.
She said the inaugurated one-stop centre was the eighth and would assist GBV survivors to have access to all the services they needed to recuperate from their trauma and was aimed at reaching 31,500 survivors with the said services.
“One serious study revealed that in Zambia almost half of all women over the age of 15 have experienced physical violence. When we hear this, we realise that the problem of gender based violence is so enormous and can clearly be solved if all practiced zero tolerance,” she said.
Head of DFID Kevin Quinlan said cases of GBV were alarming not only in Zambia but globally, with statistics showing that one in three women were beaten or sexually abused and that the scourge knew no social, economic or political boundaries.
He said the Zambian Government was taking great strides to combat GBV a situation which was encouraging partners to join the fight.
“That is why the United Kingdom government is pleased to support the Zambian Government to eliminate GBV in the country. As a successful model for an integrated response to sexual and gender based violence, the one stop centres are the first of their kind in Zambia and have since developed to ensure prompt and comprehensive services to survivors of violence,” Mr Quinlan said.
Mr Quinlan said with the US$ 27.4 million in funding over a five year period from 2013 to 2018, the three GBV projects would reach five million adults and children with preventive messages, assist 47,000 survivors and train 160 police officers and 65 prosecutorial personnel.
Community Development, Mother and Child Health, Minister Emerine Kabanshi said the current trends showed an upward increase in acts of violence ranging from physical, sexual, emotional and psychological abuse especially on women and children.
She said the government was grateful that cooperating partners had expressed interest in supporting the project to expand the centres.

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