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A half-day meeting was held today to introduce the UNFPA supported programme entitled “Preventing and Responding to Sexual and Gender-Based Violence (SGBV), including HTPs, and Rehabilitations of survivors.” The 5-year programme which is generously funded by the Government of Canada will be implemented in selected districts in all Regions in Ethiopia, including Addis Ababa and Dire Dawa City Administrations.

Speaking on the occasion, Ms. Bettina Maas, UNFPA Country Representative, said the programme would be targeting disadvantaged groups as per the equity and equality agendas of the ‘Leave No One Behind’ principle of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. She added that the programme will also be instrumental in realizing one of the transformative results of UNFPA’s Strategic Plan – ending gender-based violence and harmful practices against women and girls - which is framed against the goals of 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

On her part, Ms. Anouk St-Arnaud, First Secretary of Development with the Embassy of Canada in Ethiopia, indicated that this programme is an actualization of the Feminist International Assistance Policy of Canada designed to support the empowerment of women and girls to exercise their human rights, including their sexual and reproductive health rights, free from violence, harmful traditional practices, exploitation and discrimination. She went on to say that the programme will be targeting the most vulnerable population at risk of SGBV, including adolescent girls, women victims of violence, out-of-school girls and women with disabilities.

UNFPA supported programmes on the prevention and management of gender based violence in two phases between 2008 and 2015. The new programme which will serve as the third phase and will be implemented between 2018 and 2022 employs a three-pronged approach – prevention, provision and protection – just like its predecessors in addressing sexual and gender-based violence and promoting the rights of women and girls.

The various implementing partners of the programme participated in the meeting.