Dr. Bannet Ndyanebangi, Country Director of the United Nations Funds for Population Activities (UNFPA), has raised alarm over the increasing number of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) cases in the country.
Dr. Ndyanebangi recalled that between January and June 2019, there were a total of 1500 cases of sexual and gender-based violence reported, of which 135 are rape cases of children below five years old.
According to the Liberia News Agency, Dr. Ndyanebangi made the statement in Kakata, Margibi County, on Thursday, October 24, 2019, during the dedication of a refurbished “Safe Home” for survivors of rape and other forms of sexual and gender-based violence.
The “Safe Home” was constructed by the government and partners in 2010 but was never used, which resulted to termites destroying the entire facility until recently when the UNFPA, through Plan International, with funding from the Embassy of Sweden in Liberia, refurbished the structure.
The UNFPA, Dr. Ndyanebangi said, is currently working along with the government through the ministries of Health, Gender, Children and Social Protection, and Plan International and its partners, to ensure that the issue of rape, especially against minors, is curtailed.
Margibi County Acting Superintendent M. Kpanay Gbankpala commended UNFPA and Plan International for their support to fight SGBV.
Gbankpala said SGBV was prevalent in the country, and the fight against it requires a collective effort in curtailing the menace.
He used the occasion to call on other partners to join the fight against SGBV but said that if nothing is done to contain the situation, it could escalate to an unprecedented level.