AKIPRESS.COM - The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has awarded $230,000 in grants to eleven civil society organizations (CSOs) in the Kyrgyz Republic to protect and support survivors of gender-based and domestic violence during the COVID-19 pandemic. These funds will be used to expand shelters, provide psychological and legal support to victims, and enhance other efforts in this field across the Kyrgyz Republic. These grants are provided through the USAID Jigerduu Jarandar project.
This partnership is a response to the rise in domestic violence cases documented since March 2020 when lockdowns due to the COVID-19 outbreak were instituted. Partner organizations will provide psychological and legal counseling to victims of gender-based and domestic violence, support shelters, free legal aid centers, and the “111” National Child Protection Hotline operated by the Ministry of Labor and Social Development. They will also conduct information campaigns on violence prevention and work on improving cooperation between government agencies responsible for violence prevention, with a special focus on adolescent girls.
“In the Kyrgyz Republic, as in much of the world, the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a significant increase in reported cases of gender-based and domestic violence. The nature of COVID-19 has meant people are isolated within their homes and has made it more difficult for women and children to escape abuse,” said Acting USAID Mission Director Alder Bartlett. “We are determined to prevent domestic violence from threatening families in the Kyrgyz Republic, and to protect and support the victims of domestic violence.”
The funding will also strengthen the existing Local Committees on the Prevention of Domestic Violence and help establish new Committees in rural and urban municipalities across the country. These committees are initiated by local governments in order to prevent domestic violence and support victims.
A list of the eleven organizations who have been awarded the grants from USAID includes the following well-established civil society organizations: Abiir El (Issyk Kul oblast), Activist, Ayalzat, Child Rights Defenders’ League, DIA (Osh oblast), Kaniet, Kyrgyz Association of Women Judges, Nurjolber, Open Line, Women Support Center. In addition, the Union of Local Self Governments will work on creating new Committees for Prevention of Domestic Violence in additional villages and towns across the country.
Jigerduu Jarandar is a five-year project funded by USAID and implemented by FHI 360 in partnership with ACTED and the “Ferghana Lawyers Without Borders” NGO. USAID supports a vision where civil society and government are partners in providing solutions to the country’s development challenges.