Project Factsheet
Tools for » Reinforcement of the Multi-sectoral Service Pillar to improve access to quality life-saving services for survivors of sexual violence through strengthened coordination mechanisms
Project ID:00081402Description:UNA026 UNICEF Strengthening co
UN Action Agst Sexual Violence
Start Date *: 15 Feb 2012
UN Action Against Sexual Viole
End Date*: 30 Apr 2013
Country: United Nations Project Status: Financially Closed
  Participating Organization:   UNICEF - United Nations Children's Fund


Sexual violence against girls and women, as well as boys and men, is a pervasive human rights, socio-economic and public health problem across the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Eastern DRC continues to be regarded as one of the worst conflict zones for women and girls in recent history. Throughout the conflict, tens of thousands of women and girls have been raped, sexually assaulted, attacked and abducted. The scale coupled 'with the brutality of the acts of violence that is being inflicted on Wortien and girls is referred to in terms of epidemic proportions and particularly worrying as the effects of this kind of violence have long lasting and far-reaching ramifications for individuals, families and communities.

UNICEF and its partners continue to receive survivors of both recent and past incidents.. The use of sexual violence as a weapon of war is one of the harshest "consequences of the widespread insecurity, especially in the eastern part of the country. In 2010, there were nearly 1,200 incidents recorded per month, with more than a third occurring in the eastern region of North Kivu. All parties to the conflict are accused of sexual violence crimes. In addition, sexual abuse and exploitation is also perpetrated by civilians and takes place in schools and at home.

War and internal conflicts have weakened the state's capacity to effectively lead development efforts and provide basic social services, for its population. The country remains fragile politically, socially and economically, and the government is still unable to provide basic social services.

Since 2003, UNICEF has been a leader in gender-based violence (GBV) response programming in DRC, working in collaboration with government, civil society, international NGOs and sister UN agencies to provide a comprehensive response to survivors of sexual violence that includes access to medical care, psycho-social support, reintegration assistance, and referrals to legal counselling and assistance. In 2009, UNICEF and partners assisted 19,318 survivors of sexual violence in the DRC, including 11,855 who required critical medical assistance; and in 2010, UNICEF. provided a holistic package of care to 16,874 GBV survivors, including 8,704 children (53%).

In early 2009, the Office of the Senior Adviser and Coordinator for Sexual Violence, with the support of UN Agencies and inputs from other relevant actors including NG0s, civil society members and government officials, developed a Comprehensive Strategy for Combatting Sexual Violence in DRC. This strategy was then adapted and endorsed in November 2009 by the Government resulting in a National Strategy on Sexual and Gender Based Violence (SGBV). The objectives of the strategy aim to reduce the incidents of violence against women and girls and increase the social status of women and girls. The strategy is comprised of components Combating Impunity, Protection and Prevention, Security Sector Reform, Multi-Sectorial Assistance and Data & Mapping. UNICEF is tile lead agency, with the Ministry Of Health, to coordinate response — "the Multi-Sectorial Assistance pillar" - with a goal to improve the quality, accessibility and delivery of services for survivors.

Addressing sexual violence in the DRC requires emergency response and long-term programming and demands a multi-sector approach spanning from primary health care to security sector reform. UNICEF is well-positioned to ensure that the Multi-Sectorial Assistance Working Group on GBV fulfils its responsibilities and ensures adequate linkages between the various actors intervening on behalf of the women, girls, boys and men affected by GBV. This is of particular importance given the large number of actors involved in GBV programming, and the issue's high profile, both in DRC and abroad.

Recognition of the need for high quality leadership and coordination skills is one of the many factors that led to, the development of the new coordination structure in DRC under the. Comprehensive Strategy on Sexual Violence. Eleanor Gorman's and the SRSG's recent visit to DRC highlighted again the need for increased attention and resource allocation to ensure a coordinated response to GBV response in DRC as per the Comprehensive Strategy; UN entitie.s must strengthen their capacity to in key elements of the Comprehensive Strategy on Sexual violence. Pillar Leads, in particular, need dedicated human resources to coordinate, Monitor implementation and impact.

With dedicated personnel to reinforce its coordination leadership of the Multi-sectorial Services Pillar response efforts, UNICEF can better support and catalyse the government's response capacity in terms of multi-sectoral services for GBV. Moreover, additional dedicated staff person can reinforce partnerships to encourage results oriented coordination, responsibility, transparency and complernentarity. Finally, a strengthened coordination structure can better integrate improved monitoring mechanisms, with the overall aim of ensuring high-quality holistic care for survivors. UNICEF is committed to ensuring that the needs of all survivors are taken into account through responsible and accountable coordination. This commitment goes beyond the time bounds of this proposed project to ensure continuity of proper staffing to support the Multi-sectorial Assistance Pillar.

Goals and objectives

The project will support UNICEF by reinforcing its leadership capacity for the Multi-sectorial Assistance component of the DRC National Strategy, and ensure, coordination of appropriate service delivery and timely response, while improving quality and standards of care for GBV survivors to promote better care in both the short- and long-term. UNICEF will ensure that the Multi-sectorial Assistance Pillar is in line with and supportive to the overarching coordination mechanism under the National Strategy on SGBV, The key goals of this proposal are to improve care for survivors by expanding service provision in areas that, have been neglected. increasing the reach and accessibility: of services through capacity building of multi-sectorial service providers: and promoting the finalization. endorsement and  roll out of relatedprotocols through a well-coordinated. Multi-sectorial Assistance response.

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