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Anti-GBV project launched in State 2, Karnali



By A Staff Reporter
Kathmandu, Oct. 15: Non-government organisations, in coordination with the government of Nepal, have launched two-year project in State 2 and Karnali State to tackle gender-based violence (GBV).
The Delegation of the European Union to Nepal and the United Nations Population Fund, in coordination with the Ministry of Women, Children and Senior Citizens together with relevant provincial and local authorities, have launched the project.
As the COVID-19 crisis continues to put women and girls at increased risk of GBV, the project is said to ensure provision of critical services for GBV survivors in seven municipalities.
The project will support One Stop Crisis Management Centres (OCMC), psychosocial services, and access to shelters, among other immediate response service, Delegation of the European Union to Nepal informed.
Working hand in hand with public and non-state actors, the project will strengthen and accelerate efforts to prevent and respond to GBV by addressing the emerging challenges and pre-existing gaps worsened by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“GBV continues to remain a major barrier in the government’s ongoing efforts to materialise its motto of Happy Nepali and Prosperous Nepal. Various reports have revealed that COVID-19 has worsened the situation of GBV further in Nepal and also globally. Additional and collaborative efforts from all sides is the need of the hour to control GBV,” said Dal Rawal, Minister for Social Development, Karnali Province.
“I am happy to learn that the EU has provided financial contribution to UNFPA Nepal to implement the two-year project, which aims at enhancing effectiveness of the OCMCs, among other support, to end GBV in the states.”
"Various harmful practices and gender-based violence remain a pertinent problem in the community. Data shows that State 2 has the highest number of GBV cases reported during COVD-19,” said Dev Kumari Khatri, chief of Social Development Division under the Ministry of Social Development of State 2
“A holistic and integrated approach is required to address violence against women and girls. Thus the provincial government wants to work with external development partners in ending GBV,” Khatri added.
National statistics paint a grim picture of GBV in the country, with one in five women aged 15 to 49 experiencing physical violence since the age of 15, and at least one in four married women subjected to physical, sexual, or emotional violence by their partner.
Other harmful practices such as early marriage disproportionately affect women, where 40 per cent of women nationwide were married by age 18, compared with 11 per cent of men in 2016, despite the legal age of marriage for both sexes being 20 years.
As the pandemic has evolved, emerging data from actors on the frontline indicates that GBV has intensified across the country.
In both Karnali and State 2, COVID-19 infection rates and GBV incidents are high. A rapid assessment of the availability of GBV response services in the two states has also indicated serious gaps.
“Protection of women and girls is a priority for the EU and in emergency settings this can be a matter of life or death”, stated Nona Deprez, Ambassador, Delegation of the European Union to Nepal.
The project, financed by the EU with 700,000 Euros, comes at a time when the resilience of the social sector and its ability to protect women and girls from different forms of violence and deliver justice for survivors has been brought into sharp focus. 

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