A major milestone was reached this week in Bangui: a comprehensive care programme was established for victims of sexual violence in the Central African Republic (read a detailed presentation of the programme here).
The Fondation Pierre Fabre, leader of this consortium of international partners, joined with all the project’s other Central African stakeholders in signing the agreements and memoranda of understanding, allowing this initiative to be actively implemented.
An initial memorandum of understanding was signed on 28 January with the Minister of Health and Population, paving the way for specific projects to begin, including renovation of the obstetrics/gynaecology department of the maternity ward at the Amitié Sino-Centrafricaine Teaching Hospital. This department will become one of two points of entry for the one-stop service providing victims with medical, psychological, legal and socio-economic support and/or treatment. The other is the Association of Women Lawyers of Central African Republic.
On 30 January, a second signing ceremony took place at the Ministry of Economy, Planning and Cooperation, in the presence of that Minister, as well as the Minister of Humanitarian Action and National Reconciliation, the Ambassador of France, the director of the French Development Agency in the Central African Republic and the executive director of the Fondation Pierre Fabre.
The Ministry of Economy, Planning and Cooperation will be the project’s institutional guardian, chairing the Steering Committee (Comité d’Orientation Stratégique or COS) and collaborating with various other ministries (Health and Population, Justice and Human Rights, Promotion of Women, Family and Child Protection) and those in the partner consortium, which includes the Fondation Pierre Fabre, the Panzi Foundation DRC, the Dr Denis Mukwege Foundation and the Francophone Institute for Justice and Democracy. Steering Committee members will also include the French Development Agency and the Central African points of entry: the Amitié Sino-Centrafricaine Teaching Hospital and the Association of Women Lawyers of Central African Republic.
This signing ceremony confirms the commitment of all those involved in the project to making this programme effective. It is a multi-partner cooperative effort bringing together Central African, Congolese and French entities to provide treatment options for victims of sexual and gender-based violence in the Central African Republic.
“We are eager to begin implementing the activities we’ve planned and for this work to directly and tangibly benefit victims in need,” said Béatrice Garrette, Executive Director of the Fondation Pierre Fabre. “We should be able to help more than 3,200 victims in the space of four years. We will channel all our dedication and efforts into ensuring this programme is successful and sustainable.”