Representative from Australian Embassy distributed protective materials to implementing partners and vulnerable women

Representative from Australian Embassy distributed protective materials to implementing partners and vulnerable women

The continuity of prevention and response services to women affected by Gender-Based Violence (GBV) is imperative in the COVID-19 context. On 28 October 2020, representatives from the Australian Embassy to Cambodia distributed COVID-19 protective equipment and GBV response information materials to implementing partners and vulnerable women.

Vulnerable women and girls who experience GBV are at a greater risk of contracting COVID-19 due to their limited access to prevention information, in addition to being unable to afford personal protective equipment.

Her excellency Nhean Sochetra, General Director of Social Development at the Ministry of Women’s Affairs (MoWA), stated, “The equipment is crucial for GBV survivors, especially those who are poor and cannot afford to purchase protective materials during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Ms. Elizabeth Adler, Second Secretary at the Australian Embassy in Cambodia, stated, “Through the Australia-Cambodia Cooperation for Equitable Sustainable Services (ACCESS) Program, the Australian Government is putting vulnerable groups, including women affected by violence, at the centre of its COVID-19 response and recovery efforts.”

A lawyer from the Cambodian Women’s Crisis Centre, who is also a frontline GBV service provider, mentioned that the distribution of protective equipment is crucial as COVID-19 affects everyone. She further said, “Prevention is better than treatment”. She is passionate about working with women and girl survivors of violence and wants to support them through the provision of legal aid and access to justice.

With the support from the Australia Government, through the ACCESS Program, the materials distributed included 4,000 facemasks, 2,000 bottles of hand sanitizer, 150 posters on information on GBV response services, and 75 hand fans that will benefit vulnerable Cambodian women and GBV service providers.