Japan Embassy, UNFPA Launch Project To Benefit 80,000 Affected Women, Girls in Amhara, Benshangul Gumuz

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March 28/2022/ENA/  A one-year project that supports 80,000 women and girls affected by conflict and the COVID-19 pandemic in selected districts of Amhara and Benshangul Gumuz regions was launched today.

The Embassy of Japan in Addis Ababa, and UNFPA, the UN Sexual and Reproductive Health Agency jointly launched nearly a one  million USD project.

The project titled “Addressing Gender-Based Violence (GBV) and Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH)” will be implemented effective from March 2022 to March 2023 in eight districts of Amhara, and two districts in Benshangul Gumuz regions, it was indicated.

The eight districts from North Shoa, West Gojam, Awi, and Oromo Nationality Zones from Amhara Region and two districts from Metekel Zone of Benshangul Gumuz Region have been selected to be benefited from the project that plans to address a total of 80,000 beneficiaries as they were severely affected by conflict and the COVID-19 pandemic, it was learned.

During the launching ceremony, Child and Maternal Health Directorate Technical Advisor, with Ministry of Health, Eyob Getachew, said the project supported by Japan through UNFPA will bring significant difference in improving the women’s and girl’s health affected by the pandemic and conflict.

“The project which is primarily supported by the Japanese government and primarily led by the UNFPA would bring significant difference in improving the women’s and girl’s health in Ethiopia those specifically affected by the humanitarian and the COVID-19 as well. So, these targeted projects would address the equity issues for women and girls that are marginalized and most affected groups so that we collaborate to commit for the implementation of this project,” Eyob added.

Ethiopia has faced massive displacements since 2018 due to man-made and natural conflicts and the ministry has been responding in addressing these urgent needs of affected women and girls in collaboration with UNFPA, he pointed out.

Japan’s Ambassador to Ethiopia ITO Takako said Japan is supporting domestic efforts of Ethiopia to address sexual and reproductive health (SRH) and gender-based violence (GBV).

“Both Amhara and Benshangul Gumuz regions have experienced an influx of IDPs and severe damages to health facilities,” the ambassador said.

UNFPA Officer-in-Charge in Ethiopia, Esperance Fundira said the project will reach most vulnerable people affected by COVID-19 and conflict in the selected districts of the regions.

Fundira further stated  “We will be targeting 80,000 women, girls, boys and men in this one-year project to provide life-saving information and services on sexual and reproductive health and gender-based violence.”

Noting that the project’s support is critical to the current efforts by the government of Ethiopia to restore the health system damaged by conflicts and affected by COVID-19, the Officer-in-Charge pointed out that provisions of supplies and commodities, including personal protective equipment, emergency reproductive health kits and dignity kits, and ambulances will be met.

The project will also aim at strengthening institutional capacity in sexual and reproductive health (SRH) and gender-based violence (GBV) with the training of service providers.

Representatives of Amhara and Benshangul Gumuz regions have explained the status of health facilities in the affected areas in particular, stressing the need for critical support for the effective implementation of the project.

People in some parts of Amhara region have been severely affected by the atrocities the terrorist TPLF had committed and  by natural hazards, causing  destruction of infrastructures on health facilities and massive displacement, while especially the Metekel Zone of Benshangul Gumuz was also a frequent flash point for conflicts, destructions, and displacement.

The project will form part of UNFPA’s ninth country program commenced in 2020 and will last until 2025, being implemented in nine regions by responding to national priorities of the government.  

Japanese humanitarian assistance to Ethiopia, which is over 14 million USD, in  2021/2022, will be implemented through eight UN organizations.

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