May 8, 2020
A batch of assistance totaling € 155,000 and consisting of 9,000 liters of disinfectants, 21,500 protective masks, 1,100 reusable rubber gloves, 90 infrared thermometers, 800 food and hygiene packages and 1,000 sets of educational materials is made available to 70 localities from Cahul and Ungheni districts. The equipment and products are donated under the “EVA - Promoting Gender Equality in Cahul and Ungheni districts” Program funded by the European Union, co-financed by the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) and implemented in partnership with UNICEF Moldova.
This support is intended to be used for preventing and combating gender-based and domestic violence, including violence against children, and to help out the vulnerable groups. It is also aiming to provide local and district multidisciplinary teams with protective equipment to respond in a coordinated, effective and prompt manner to cases of violence which represent an increased risk during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The donation comes to support vulnerable families to ensure their access to quality services. By offering personal protection to social services employees in the field, we can interact with our beneficiaries and we can help them through counseling, ensuring their access to services and supporting them to overcome the difficult situation they face. It is important that this kind of solidarity is met at all levels, and that workers in the social system feel safe when they are on duty. We must also teach the population that there are certain measures that we must respect in order to interrupt this chain of infection transmission”, declared the State Secretary of the Ministry of Health, Labor and Social Protection Djulieta POPESCU.
“During these difficult times, our thoughts are directed to the victims of domestic violence. The European Union provides support to multidisciplinary teams that are involved in combating and solving cases of domestic violence in Cahul and Ungheni districts. We hope that this assistance will send a message to the victims of domestic violence, as well as to children and families at risk that they are not alone during this period”, said the Head of the European Union Delegation to the Republic of Moldova Peter MICHALKO.
There is worldwide evidence shows that during the COVID-19 pandemic the number of cases of domestic and gender-based violence is growing, and one of the main priorities of the authorities is to ensure the functionality of essential services, including the coordinated and prompt response by multidisciplinary team members to the needs of women and children victims of violence.
The Representative a.i for UN Women Moldova, Peterson MAGOOLA mentioned that: “Women play a leading role in social care systems, primary health care, education, and also in services provided by local authorities. During the COVID-19 pandemic, it is critical that women are included in all decision-making processes for the response. It is equally important that measures are undertaken to protect women and girls from all forms of violence, and the response plans take into consideration the needs of women. As a result, the supplies that you see here today are intended for the multidisciplinary teams who ensure the functioning of social services at the local level, and also for women, children and vulnerable families”.
The EVA program also has a component for piloting violence prevention activities in schools and communities, and this component will be implemented together with UNICEF Moldova.
“The pandemic also affects children of all ages, including the most vulnerable who now do not have access to teachers, friends, and nutrition and protection services. We know from various previous health crises around the world that children face an increased risk of exploitation, violence and abuse when schools are closed, social services are disrupted and traffic is restricted”, said the UNICEF Country Representative to the Republic of Moldova Desiree JONGSMA.
According to the General Police Inspectorate, in the first three months of 2020 the police registered 267 crimes related to domestic violence, which is 15.5% more than in the same period of the last year.
The Strengthened Gender Action in Cahul and Ungheni districts Programme, short title “EVA” is aiming at promoting gender equality and women’s empowerment through strengthened implementation of gender mainstreaming in local public policies and combating domestic violence affecting women and children. The implementation period of the Programme is 2020-2022 (3 years long) and its total budget is € 5,250,000.