UNDP Calls for Continuity of Quality Anti-GBV Services Amidst COVID19 Threats
Lusaka, 5th August 2021 – The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has called attention to the importance of supporting business continuity of GBV prevention quality services to reduce GBV cases amidst the COVID19 pandemic, which has impacted women and girls disproportionately leading to further socio-economic inequalities faced everyday.
Speaking during the hand-over of COVID19 Personal Preventive Equipment (PPE) and a project motor vehicle, worth eighty Thousand United States Dollars (USD80,000), the UNDP Resident Representative, Lionel Laurens said, “many front liners responding to Gender Based Violence (GBV) and COVID-19 have been women, who have worked under very strenuous conditions to ensure continuity of quality Anti-GBV services.”
With the global COVID-19 pandemic causing shifts in many socio-economic sectors adversely impacting women and anecdotal accounts suggesting a rise in violence against women, UNDP together with participating UN agencies have worked closely with the Ministry of Gender to examine the most pressing COVID-19 challenges that GBV survivors, particularly, those at-risk including people living with disability, children and adolescents, experience in seeking requisite services. This has been supported by the funds generously provided to the GRZ-UN Joint Programme on GBV Phase II by the Governments of Ireland and Sweden.
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Gender, Dr. Sastone Silomba commended this gesture as it complements Government’s efforts of ensuring continued service and health care for all.
“As we receive these hygiene products, PPEs and the project motor vehicle on behalf of implementing partners as they continue to implement the Joint GRZ-UN GBV Programme Phase II we are aware that the majority of GBV victims are women and girls. Anecdotal reports show that during the pandemic cases of GBV have increased thereby putting many women and girls at risk and increasing the demand for such services.”
The Joint Programme is responding to challenges faced by service providers such as police, safe shelter managers and law enforcement officers. The Programme is therefore contributing to enabling business continuity where the provision of quality services is sustained amidst the challenges presented by COVID19.