News

The Republic of Korea strengthens its support for UNFPA in addressing gender-based violence in Afghanistan

21 January 2018

The Republic of Korea has stepped up its long-running support for UNFPA’s response to gender-based violence (GBV) in Afghanistan with a recent contribution of $5.4 million.

These funds will help sustain UNFPA’s projects, established through the national government as well as local governments, to prevent and respond to GBV through the end of 2020. These projects are currently active in 11 of Afghanistan’s 34 provinces, and will expand over the next year to reach 24 provinces.  

The overall goal of the programme is to better enable the health sector to respond to violence against women and girls, by strengthening referral mechanisms between health, legal and police sectors to provide a package of essential services. The project will also include GBV prevention activities through engaging community elders and religious leaders, as well as men and boys.

“The issue of violence against women requires serious attention and support,” noted Amb. Rhee Zha Hyoung, the Republic of Korea’s Ambassador to Afghanistan. “UNFPA, through this GBV project, takes a comprehensive approach to address the issue, providing survivors with necessary physical and psychological care as well as referrals to protection and legal services. The Republic of Korea is willing and ready to continue its support in partnership with UNFPA and the Ministry of Public Health and the Ministry of Womens’ Affairs.”

Violence against women in Afghanistan, particularly spousal and domestic violence, is commonplace. According to the Afghanistan Demographic and Health Survey 2015, approximately 56% of married women aged 15 – 49 are said to have experienced emotional, physical or sexual violence from their spouses. A health sector that has the capacity to respond to the needs of female survivors of violence is an essential step in eliminating this harmful practice.

“One of the biggest impediments in addressing GBV is the stigma women and girls face when talking about it, and the unwillingness of communities to even acknowledge its existence,” explained Dr Bannet Ndyanabangi, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Representative in Afghanistan. “We aim to increase awareness on GBV and its severe consequences on the health and wellbeing of people in general, and women and girls in particular. By scaling up essential services for survivors, and linking key stakeholders to better coordinate the response, Afghanistan can make significant advances in tackling this scourge.”

The project currently reaches 30,000 clients in the 11 provinces where it’s being implemented, impacting a wider circle of about 2 million people, including spouses and children, indirectly. The funding from the Republic of Korea along with UNFPA’s technical guidance on the response to GBV are aligned with the national development priorities identified by the Government of Afghanistan as part of the country’s long-term development strategy.

 

###

For more information, please contact:

Ahmadullah Amarkhil, Communication and Information Officer, UNFPA Afghanistan

Mob. +93 700 263 232
Off. +93 7292 61300-302
E-mail:amarkhil@unfpa.org

 

For the Essential Services Package for Women and Girls Subject to Violence, produced by UNFPA and other UN partners, please visit: https://www.unfpa.org/essential-services-package-women-and-girls-subject-violence