11 December 2013

Africa: Seven USAID Awards Address Gender-Based Violence

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Washington — The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has announced seven new awards worth nearly $8 million to address gender-based violence.

USAID Chief Scientist Alex Dehgan announced the awards at an event in Washington at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars, where participants discussed how innovative technology can address violence. The awards will enable USAID missions to address gender-based violence by applying country-specific strategies across a range of sectors.

"These efforts reflect USAID's commitment to implement the United States Strategy to Prevent and Respond to Gender-based Violence Globally and the Ending Child Marriage and Meeting the Needs of Married Children: USAID's Vision for Action," USAID said in a December 9 press release.

"It is really exciting to know that these funds will be used to make a substantial difference in the lives of those who experience gender-based violence," said USAID Chief Strategy Officer Carla Koppell.

The following missions will use the funds to expand successful projects or start new programs to address gender-based violence.

- In India, USAID will expand the use of mobile technology to identify and address intimate partner violence among female patients receiving family planning and prenatal care.

- In Zimbabwe, USAID will provide gender-based violence prevention and protection services for adolescent girls, including those who are living with disabilities.

- In Ethiopia, funding will increase the capacity of law enforcement agencies to investigate, prosecute and adjudicate child marriage and female genital mutilation.

- In Guinea, USAID will build on an existing maternal health project to decrease domestic violence by creating linkages between maternal and child health services and referrals to mission-supported legal clinics. The project will support establishing hot lines to complement legal clinics and provide legal education and aftercare for survivors of gender-based violence.

- In South Africa, USAID aims to enhance the role of the government of South Africa's flagship rape crisis and counseling centers to address the nation's epidemic of gender-based violence and sexual assault. This award aims to prevent sexual violence through behavior change efforts for youth and potential youth perpetrators.

- In Kenya, USAID will build on an existing project and work with the newly elected county officials to address gender-based violence and empower civil society to advocate for services through a civil education and information campaign.

- In Georgia, USAID will support the government of Georgia's National Action Plan to address domestic violence prevention and protection services by institutionalizing the role of domestic violence social workers, establishing a national referral system and providing anti-domestic violence education.

Details on USAID's work to address gender-based violence can be found on the agency's website.

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