Kabul, 09 December 2015 -The British Embassy in Kabul and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) launched today in Kabul a new collaboration with the Afghan Ministry of Public Health to expand access to services for survivors of gender-based violence (GBV).
These new Family Protection Centres in six provinces of Afghanistan will help survivors of gender-based violence and their families to know about their rights, to find shelter and to access health, counseling and legal services. These centres are expected to help up to 6,000 women survivors every year. This new collaboration was announced in the presence of His Excellency the Minister of Public Health Dr.Ferozudin Feroz, as well as representatives of civil society, donors and UN agencies.
The first Family Protection Centres (FPCs) were established in 2013 in Kabul and Nangarhar provinces. These were followed by further centres in Herat, Balkh, Bamiyan and Baghlan. This year alone, these facilities have registered over 1,900 cases of gender-based violence. Most of these cases involved physical violence, psychological violence, forced or early marriage, denial of resources and rape.
"Violence against women is pervasive and the level of forms of violence differs from one province to another. We recognize that the health sector has a big role to play in responding to gender-based violence. I welcome this project with much optimism, would go a long way in increasing access and utilization of gender-based violence response services", stated the Minister of Public Health, Dr. Ferozedin Feroz.
UNFPA Representative in Afghanistan, Dr. Annette Sachs Robertson emphasized that: "It is our hope that the Family Protection Centre becomes a feature of every hospital in Afghanistan. This will not only ensure sustainability of the services in the current provinces, it will also ensure expansion of these services across the country and thereby increase equitable access to such vital services".
With the financial support of the Government of the United Kingdom, the new Family Protection Centres will be established in Laghman, Daikundi, Parwan, Panjsheer, Farah and Jawzjan provinces.
British Deputy Ambassador Dr Martin Longden said:
"The UK will provide around $1.4m worth of assistance this year. And we plan to allocate further, substantial funding next year as well. Violence against women and girls is a global problem. It not only harms the victims and their families. It also has huge social and economic costs. So ending violence against wives, mothers and daughters is not only a compelling moral issue - but needs to be a political imperative as well. That is why it is such a priority for my Government, as well as for the Government here."
For more information:
Ministry of Public Health
Mohammad Ismail Kadusi
Head of Communications Department
Tel: +93 (0) 792888855
Head of Communications
Tel: +93 (0)700 102329
Tel: +93 (0) 729261392