62 Participants from 14 justice & security sector Institutions including civil society organizations, participated in the exercise.

Medica Liberia with support from the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) hosted a one- day project inception workshop under the theme: “capacity building and coordination of National Institutions and civil society organizations”.

The purpose of the workshop, held on September 2, 2019 in Monrovia, was to present the Spotlight Initiative project concept to key beneficiaries of the Justice & security sectors and develop a clear road map for the overall implementation.

In her opening and  welcome statement, the Head of Programs at Medica Liberia, Emily Frank , said violence against women has become widespread in every aspect of Liberia’s social, political and economic sphere.

Madam Frank, quoting the January – July 2019  statistics of the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection, said that 1,058 sexual and Gender Based Violence Cases were reported during the period and the report highlighted  73% affected children  between ages  0-17 years.

“This menace cuts across the entire country and remains the most prevalent violation against women and girls,” stressed Madam Frank.

She challenged participants to soberly reflect on these horrifying reports and begin to unite and strategize ways to solve this social problem that is overtaking the country.

Giving an overview of the project, the Monitoring and Evaluation Consultant at Medica Liberia, Yaya S. Sackor recalled that Liberia is among 8 countries benefiting from the Spotlight Initiative project which is funded by the European Union and being implemented through the United Nations System.

He pointed out that, the program is expected to encourage women and girls to access reproductive health and rights in accordance with the objectives of the spotlight initiative project. 

Under this joint initiative with partners like UN Women, UNFPA and others, the role entrusted to UNDP Liberia is mostly related to strengthening institutions and ensuring the delivery of quality and essential services in the prevention and the responses to SGBV and harmful practices at the national, sub-national and community levels.

“UNDP is supporting Medica Liberia to primarily focus on institutional strengthening of relevant national institutions and civil society institutions,” Sackor intimated.

For her part the UNDP representative, Emree Neeplo reiterated that the project is intended to enhance the technical capacity and resources of relevant national institutions and civil society organizations to prevent and respond to Gender Based Violence and Harmful Practices at all levels.

Madam Neeplo noted that the implementation the entire project is expected to last for four years.

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