THE European Union has announced a 500 million euro (US$524 million) fund to fight gender-based violence (GBV), with Zimbabwe named as one of the beneficiaries.
Speaking to NewsDay on the sidelines of a 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence event held in Harare on Wednesday, EU head of development co-operation Frank Port said: “The day is important to us as fighting GBV is a priority for the union. Zimbabwe has been selected as a beneficiary country.
“These 16 days, which is a yearly event, is an amazing opportunity to foster the fight against GBV. We are working with the government, the United Nations and communities and it’s good to reach out to the public.”
United Nations Population Fund GBV sub-cluster co-ordinator and technical specialist, Verena Bruno said the fight against GBV was a collective effort.
“It is everyone’s responsibility and not only the role of service providers. It is the responsibility of any sector working in water, sanitation and hygiene, infrastructure and food security to support and mitigate the risks of GBV,” Bruno said.
“We work closely with communities sensitising them on what can be done to shift perceptions about negative behaviour that exacerbates the risk of gender-based violence. We work to design service models that reach communities close to their homes. It is important to bring services closer to communities so that they can access timely help.”