Authorities of the International Rescue Committee (IRC) recently announced the closure of its Gender-based Violence (GBV), Male Engagement and Empowerment project in Liberia, but the beneficiaries appealed for support to continue the program.
The Project, with several components, including support to the One-Stop Centers (OSCs), was established by the ministries of Health and Gender, Children and Social Protection, which are currently providing health, legal counseling and other services to victims of sexual gender-based violence (SGBV).
The IRC supported the five One-Stop Centers (OSCs) from 2016-2019. In September 2019, as IRC exited the facilities, there occurred a shortage of HB &TT vaccines; and in October 2019, the IRC procured and supplied the Five One-Stop Centers with 2,099 vails of Hepatitis B vaccine and 1,364 vails of Tetanus Toxoid, which are lifesaving drugs for survivors of Sexual Gender-Based Violence (SGBV), understanding the consequences of the SGBV and the need to administer these vaccines within the 72 hours' period.
IRC, Irish Aid and GoL Representatives with the project's banner shortly after the program ended.
At the JDJ Memorial Hospital, Doctor Quaye, Ministry of Health (MOH) representative, the administrator, the supervisors of JDJ and Duport Road One-Stop Centers were present as IRC representatives Mohammed Kamara, supply chain, Annie Fahn, Case management Officer, and Mrs. Anita Krubo Tokpa Monger, Women and Child Protection Coordinator, presented the vaccines.
With funding from Irish Aid, the IRC used over US$12,000 to procure the vaccines. The medical doctor appreciated IRC for the immense support given the five OSCs over the years in Montserrado County.
After successfully implementing programs, which were focused on GBV prevention, response, and advocacy; male engagement; life skills development for adolescent girls; and women's economic empowerment models through the Irish Aid-funded She Leads and One-Stop Center Extension projects, IRC Liberia hosted a close-out session on Thursday, September 26, at a resort outside Monrovia.
One hundred twenty agencies and organizations, including Irish Aid; multiple line ministries and civil societies, were present at the ceremony.
In her welcome statement, Madam Faith A. Cooper, IRC-Liberia's Country Director, said that "no one person can eradicate GBV," and that it requires the collective effort of everyone, nationwide.
Madam Kate Brady, Charge'd'Affaires of the Embassy of Ireland, commended the IRC for its work to support adolescent girls and boys, women and survivors of GBV at One-Stop Centers across Montserrado.
She highlighted that by supporting one another, the individuals present at the closing event were full of positive solutions.
Opening remarks were also given by Deputy Minister Alice Walker from the Ministry of Gender Children and Social Protection; Family Health Division Director, Madam Bentoe Tahongue, and the Director for the Sex Crimes Unit at the Ministry of Justice, Cllr. Isaac George.
Beneficiaries of the EMAP program recite a slogan from the training "A changed mind, a changed boy."
Madam Yvonne Kodl, IRC-Liberia Deputy Director for Programs, extended her appreciation to the Government of Liberia (GoL), Irish Aid, civil society organizations and program participants for supporting such a critical program.
She also highlighted the knowledge gained on the firsthand impacts of GBV prevention, response, male engagement and economic empowerment through these Irish Aid-funded projects.
The IRC Liberia looks forward to a continued partnership with Irish Aid in fighting GBV.
The IRC is a global humanitarian aid, relief, and development nongovernmental organization. Founded in 1933 as the International Relief Association, at the request of Albert Einstein, and changing its name in 1942 after amalgamating with the similar Emergency Rescue Committee, the IRC provides emergency aid and long-term assistance to refugees and those displaced by war, persecution, or natural disaster. It is currently working in about 40 countries and 26 U.S. cities where it resettles refugees and helps them become self-sufficient. It focuses mainly on health, education, economic well-being, power, and safety, etc.