The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has supplied Zambia Covid-19 personal preventive equipment (PPE) and a project vehicle worth U.S.D80,000.
The UN agency, while handling over the PPE and the vehicle to the country’s Ministry of Gender, called for the continued provision of quality anti-gender-based violence (GBV) services amid the Covid-19 pandemic.
It is understood that the UNDP and other UN agencies have worked closely with the Ministry of Gender to examine the experience of GBV survivors, particularly people living with disabilities, children and adolescents, 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 UNDP said in a statement on its website.
The Covid-19 pandemic has caused shifts in many socio-economic sectors, adversely impacting women and girls disproportionately.
The joint programme is responding to challenges faced by service providers such as police, safe shelter managers and law enforcement officers in providing anti-GBV services in the southern African nation.
Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Gender, Sastone Silomba, commended the UNDP for providing the support.
‘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’, the medical doctor said.
‘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’.
For his part, the UNDP Resident Representative, Lionel Laurens, said, ‘[M]any 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’.
Photo source: UNDP