UNFPA Dedicates, Turns Over ‘One Stop Center’


The United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) has dedicated and turned over to the Government of Liberia a “One Stop Center” in Buchanan, Grand Bassa County. The facilities, which were handed to the Ministry of Health (MOH), are part of the mechanisms to provide support to survivors of sexual and gender-based violence in Liberia.
The One Stop Center, which is in Buchanan City, was constructed by a local organization, Touching Humanity In Need of Kindness (THINK). This brings to 12 the number of One Stop Centers in the country. Five of the centers are in Montserrado County, with one in Buchanan and other parts of the country.
The official turning over of the center was held over the weekend at the Government Hospital in Buchanan.
The ceremony brought together several high profile individuals including Gender Minister Julia Ducan Cassell, a representative of the Women and Children Protection Division of the Liberia National Police, the Grand Bassa County Health Officer and partners, among others.
The Country Representative of UNFPA, Dr. Oluremi Sogunro, said shaming and disgracing the perpetrators of rape and other sexual-related cases were some of the ways to contain the rampant acts of rape in the country.
“We have a serious challenge in Liberia; we need to be spending money on development activities and not fighting or constructing places for gender-based violence issues. We want to be spending money on educating the youth and other development activities across Liberia,” Dr. Sogunro said as he dedicated the center.
He noted that the answer to addressing rape and other gender-related cases in Liberia are within the communities. He believes that with the participation of chiefs, elders, as well as mothers and other members of the family, the country will be freed of what he termed as “cruelty situations”, which continues to increase, citing reports from those involved with handling rape cases across the country.
Deputy Minister for Gender, Sieana Abdul-Baki believes the Center will help to alleviate the alarming rate of rape cases and provide the opportunity to address the situation.
Mrs. Abdul-Baki, after she officially launched the center, hailed UNFPA, THINK and MOH for establishing the Center in Grand Bassa County.
She urged the residents, including gender-based violence actors, to fully utilize the facility by providing the requisite services.
“We are aware that the One Stop Center will provide services like medical, psycho-social counseling, protection of survivors and legal services,” she stated.
She reported that last year, the Ministry obtained 1,139 cases, with 657 being children below 18 years.
The One Stop Centers in the various counties are now helping MOH, UNFPA, Gender Ministry and other partners to collect data on gender-based violence issues.


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