R17 million support for GBV victims

Johannesburg – In an effort to help those affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, the Solidarity Fund has granted R17 million to fund initiatives that support victims of gender-based violence (GBV).

  The fund was established by President Cyril Ramaphosa in March to address social and economic impact of Covid-19.

  The fund noted the increase in GBV incidents as the country grapples with the Covid-19 pandemic. It said the funds would be allocated to the National Shelter Movement NPO, which supports a network of 78 shelters across the country, 55 Thuthuzela Care Centres, a government initiative that ensures justice for victims, and the GBV command centre, which operates a national call centre.

  The fund’s humanitarian leader Wendy Tlou said they have been working with civil society and women’s organisations to respond to the scourge of GBV. 

  “This marks the next phase of our humanitarian effort, as we respond to the different phases of the pandemic. The funds will be used to provide the GBV command centre with additional staff and the necessary equipment, for it to cope with the recent increase in calls and messages. This will also help in the procurement of personal protective equipment (PPE); including critical equipment such as rape kits for the National Shelter Movement and the Thuthuzela Care Centres.”

  Solidarity Fund chairperson Gloria Serobe said GBV is one of the social ills that has been exacerbated by the Covid-19 pandemic. “Our duty has been to respond to the needs of those most vulnerable at this time. The intention is to ensure that gender-based violence victims are protected and treated with care and dignity,” Serobe said.

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