Survivor-centred Response Project Launched

A survivor-centred response project for gender-based violence (GBV) survivors was launched at Alotau Provincial Hospital on June 2, 2021.

Project “Strengthening national health sector capacity to deliver survivor-centred response to gender-based violence survivors in Papua New Guinea” is funded by Zonta International and will be coordinated by United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and Milne Bay Provincial Health Authority (MBPHA).

Approximately K4 million (US$ 1,000,00) has been committed to the two year project that is aimed at providing quality essential services including long term recovery for women and girls who experience violence in the country.  

Papua New Guinea is one of two countries with the highest lifetime prevalence of intimate partner violence. The other country being, Timor-Leste.

Over 150,000 people in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville and in Milne Bay provinces will directly benefit from the program. Milne Bay will receive approximately K700,000 to strengthen the Provincial Government’s response to GBV through specialized health services at Family Support Centers.

Milne Bay Provincial Administrator Ashan Numa said: “On behalf of the provincial Governor, my administration, the leadership for the province and my colleagues, we are very thankful that you have taken this program. I look forward to working with you for the success of the program. The people of Milne Bay are grateful for this program.”

UNFPA PNG Representative Marielle Sander said one in three women have experienced sexual and gender-based violence and in PNG the figure is about 63% of women who have experienced this violence. And for these women, 77% of the violence has been exercised by their intimate partners.

She expressed, “These are very alarming figures. PNG is not alone trying to overcome this challenge. The on-going Parliamentary Inquiry, supported by Milne Bay’s Hon. Charles Abel has shown PNG the urgency of addressing violence more broadly as a policy priority and the need to promote coordination within and between medical, psycho-social, police and legal services to manage the GBV prevention and response.”

Sander added that Milne Bay is ready to expand its services to help those facing abuse.

The financial support will now enable PHA in Alotau to strengthen the referral system in the health care system and expand psychosocial gender-based violence response.

Photo credit: UNFPA

Press Release