The government of South Korea is supporting efforts to address sexual and gender-based violence (GBV) among women and girls impacted by the humanitarian crisis in South Sudan through a USD 400,000 contribution to UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund said in a statement.
This support will be used to further support its response to GBV as contained in the South Sudan Humanitarian Response Plan, UNFPA said.
“Sexual and gender-based violence remains one of the prevalent human rights issues in South Sudan, emanating from the protracted armed conflict, where the use of sexual violence and the brutalization of women and girls have been well documented,” the statement said. “In displacement settings, threats and risks of GBV against women and girls persist particularly sexual violence, growing levels of intimate partner violence, sexual exploitation, harassment, and early and forced marriage.”
According to the UN agency, in the first three quarters of 2020, the Gender-Based Violence Information Management System reported more than 6,000 cases of GBV, where 97 percent of the survivors were women and girls.
“UNFPA, in partnership with the Ministry of Gender, Child and Social Welfare and the Ministry of Health and with support from donors such as the Government of South Korea, supports the response to and prevention of GBV in South Sudan through various approaches,” the statement read in part.
“These include the establishment of 10 women and girls friendly spaces that provide access to social support, skills training, safe and non-stigmatizing multi-sectoral GBV response services, and information on issues relating to the health and rights of women and girls affected by the humanitarian crisis in South Sudan,” it added.
UNFPA also supports 11 one-stop centers for GBV survivors across the country, providing integrated medical, psychosocial, and legal services under one roof. At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in South Sudan, UNFPA supported setting up the national GBV hotline 623, which provides round the clock access to GBV survivors to call in and seek psychosocial first aid, referrals, and legal guidance.
“UNFPA also supports over 200 health facilities across the country to provide medical treatment for survivors of sexual violence, including the provision of post-rape treatment kits,” the statement concluded. “In 2020, UNFPA distributed more than 50,000 dignity kits to women and girls affected by the humanitarian crisis to ensure that they continue to have access to basic hygiene needs such as sanitary pads and underwear.”
Globally, South Korea is one of UNFPA’s key partners in addressing sexual and reproductive health and rights, supporting improved access to essential reproductive, maternal and newborn, and child care and targeted services on GBV.
Source: Radio Tamazuj