The European Union has committed US$34 million for the Spotlight Initiative country programme in Zimbabwe which seeks to eradicate gender based violence (GBV) in the country.
The project is being implemented by United Nations in partnership with the Ministry of Women Affairs, Community, Small and Medium Enterprises Development and Civil Society Organisations.
Delivering a keynote at the launch, President Emmerson Mnangagwa in a statement read on his behalf by Minister Professor Amon Murwira pinned hopes on the Spotlight Initiative to adopt measures that will bring the problem of (GBV) into the public domain.
“It is my hope that through this initiative we will adopt measures that will bring this problem into the public domain and enable policy makers to realize that gender based violence has a negative impact on the Gross Domestic Product and national development as a whole.
“This initiative will see our country receiving support to the tune of 22 million Euros towards programmes to end violence against women and girls. I am reliably informed that Zimbabwe is one of the eight countries in Africa which has benefited from this fund.” said Murwira.
The Spotlight Initiative is a global joint of the United Nations and European Union to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls in all continents.
Africa will receive 250 million Euros, half of the global amount for eight countries including Zimbabwe plus an African Regional programme.
Minister of Women Affairs, Community, Small And Medium Enterprises Development Dr Sithembiso Nyoni expressed her gratitude towards being among the eight African countries on the continent selected to benefit from this initiative.
“There is no doubt in my mind that this demonstrates our success in engaging the international community who slowly but surely are beginning to appreciate our vision as a nation.
“The EU funding will directly benefit Government Ministries which provide services to survivors of Gender Based Violence, Civil Society Organizations and Independent Commissions in particular the Zimbabwe Gender Commission.” she said.
Meanwhile, European External Action Service Deputy Secretary-General, Christian Leffler said, “Gender-based violence is not inevitable – it is literally man-made. The solution lies with the strong cooperation of all of us, international actors, government, CSO, local authorities and citizens.“
The Zimbabwe Spotlight Initiative country programme targets directly and indirectly 11 million beneficiaries particularly rural women and girls, women and girls living with disabilities, and women living with HIV.
Sixty percent (60%) of the Spotlight Initiative country programme intervention will be implemented at community level in 23 districts in five provinces. The five provinces are: Mashonaland Central, Mashonaland West, Manicaland, Matabeleland South, and Harare.