• Merio Jimmy

South Korea to help end gender based violence in South Sudan

Merio Jimmy, Juba

The South Korean government is supporting efforts to address gendered violence in South Sudan through a $400,000 USD contribution to UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund.

Globally, South Korea is a key UNFPA partner in fight for reproductive health and rights, supporting improved access to a variety of services addressing maternal and newborn health, childcare services and gender based violence.

The UNFPA has declared it will use South Korea’s support to escalate its response against all forms of gender discrimination, as outlined in the South Sudan Humanitarian Response Plan.

Gender based violence remains one of the most prevalent humans rights issues in South Sudan. Following years of armed conflict and war, the use of sexual violence has been normalised in affected areas.

Women and children affected by gender based violence at a clinic in Unity State.

Numerous studies have also shown links between displacement and the risk of gender based violence against women and girls. Ranging from sexual exploitation to early and forced marriage, the intersection between refugee status and vulnerability is important to consider.

In the first three quarters of 2020, the Gender-Based Violence Information Management System (GBVIMS) reported more than 6,000 cases of GBV, where 97% of the survivors were women and girls.

In collaboration with the relevant South Sudanese government ministries and international partners such as South Korea, the UNFPA is acting to affect meaningful change through number of strategies.

Approaches include the establishment of 10 ‘women friendly’ spaces, to provide women and girls with social support, training and non-stigmatising services helping issues associated with gender based violence.

The UNFPA also supports 11 one-stop centres for survivors of gender based violence across South Sudan, providing integrated medical, psychological and legal services under one roof. At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in South Sudan, UNFPA supported setting up the national GBV hotline 623, which provides 24/7 advice for survivors.

Recent months have also seen the UNFPA offer support to over 200 health facilities providing specialised care for survivors of gendered violence.

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