ActionAid-Liberia, in partnership with Community Healthcare Initiative (CHI) yesterday launched a three-year program valued at €500,000, (Five hundred thousand Euros) to reduce sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) as well as provide assistance to survivors.
The program, which will be implemented in Margibi, Gbarpolu and Montserrado counties, is held under the theme, “Enhanced Protection from Sexual and Gender-based Violence for Women, Girls and Sexual Minorities,” with funding from the European Union (EU).
ActionAid-Liberia Country Director Lakshmi Moore said the project will enhance protection against SGBV and other forms of violence against women, including rape, forced marriage, and female genital mutilation (FGM).
The new program, according to Mrs. Moore, will also adapt a holistic approach by tackling structural issues at the core of SGBV, and then “facilitate the social, legal and economic empowerment of women, girls and sexual minorities, where the community leaders will contribute to increased access to justice for victims,” Mrs. Moore said.
The three year-program targets 52,176 women, girls and sexual minorities in the three counties that will benefit from information and increased awareness of their rights and the will to reject SGBV by demanding protection from the government.
She said the exercise will cover about 6,000 women, girls and sexual minorities in the targeted eight communities, to reduce and ultimately prevent SGBV.
Mrs. Moore told journalists that three of the 15 county health systems will be more informed and responsive with tools to support women, girls and sexual minorities, to gain access to quality anti-SGBV services at any of the accredited health facilities.
Montserrado County Superintendent Florence Brandy, who launched the series, lauded the European Union (EU) for their support to the program.
Brandy said despite numerous efforts to end SGBV, the challenge remains enormous, which requires a joint effort to address it.
Naomi Tulay-Solanke, CHI executive director, said her organization seeks to create communities where the inhabitants will have access to adequate healthcare and social services.
Mrs. Solanke said CHI is currently working with women and children to create the necessary awareness on rights to health by promoting peace in the country.
With funding from the National Oil Company of Liberia (NOCAL), Mrs. Solanke said: “CHI built the primary healthcare facility in Boboma, Gbarpolu County, and also engaged in water sanitation and hygiene initiatives, where they so far covered 117 schools in seven of the 15 counties.” The exercise was done in partnership with ActionAid-Liberia.