KOICA, UNFPA join hands to support for safety of girls


By A Staff Reporter,Kathmandu, June 15: The Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) Nepal and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Nepal signed an agreement for the project “Safe and enabling environment for adolescent girls and young women (SAFE-Girls)" on Friday.

 Jeong-eun Song, Senior Deputy Country Director of KOICA Nepal, and Won Young Hong, UNFPA Country Representative for Nepal, signed the agreement, according to a joint statement issued by  KOICA and UNFPA. 

For this project, the Government of the Republic of Korea through KOICA is contributing USD 6 million with an additional 10 per cent (USD 626,503) from UNFPA. 

“This joint effort aims to provide a total of US$6.6 million to support adolescent teenagers and young women in Nepal over the next four years,” read the statement.

 The project will be implemented by UNFPA partnering with local authorities in Lumbini, Madhes and Sudurpashchim provinces, the Ministry of Health and Population, the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology and the Ministry of Women, Children and Senior Citizens in Nepal. 

The main objective of the project is to provide gender-based violence response and strengthen preventive measures. 

The project will enhance digital technology that shall strengthen the monitoring and reporting systems related to gender-based violence and harmful practices, and comprehensive sexuality education by collecting real-time data on social behaviour changes among adolescent girls, young women and community members through the safe space programme, and increase digital skills of girls and women to be able to access to services and lead social, read the statement. 

Speaking at the signing-in ceremony, Jeong-eun Song, Senior Deputy Country Director of KOICA Nepal stated that the initiative to empower adolescent girls and young women in Nepal stands as a beacon of hope in the fight against harmful practices and gender-based violence. 

Similarly, Won Young Hong, UNFPA Country Representative for Nepal, said, “This partnership between UNFPA and KOICA is a crucial addition to our efforts to accelerate the ICPD Agenda.” She continued to recognise the key role of partnerships, both with KOICA and the federal and local governments. “This partnership can be a catalyst for change on so many levels. It is crucial that we build on the strong results achieved by the government so far and we continue to have strong support from federal and local governments that realise the potential of adolescent girls and young women as change agents,” she said.

It is important to note that KOICA successfully implemented a similar project from 2016-2022 titled “Empowering Adolescent Girls and Young Women through the Provision of Comprehensive Sexuality Education and a Safe Learning Environment in Nepal”. That project was a flagship programme announced by the Korean Government titled “Better Life for Girls”.

The ceremony also commemorated the 50 years of diplomatic ties between Nepal and Korea. Emphasising that the event holds special significance as Korea and Nepal celebrate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties and Korea would remain as the best partner of Nepal, continuously supporting Nepal. 

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