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In response to COVID 19, two UN agencies teamed up to support women affected by gender-based violence

In the context of the COVID-19 outbreak, the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN WOMEN) with the support of Sweden and together with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in the Republic of Moldova delivered today a lot of essential products for approximately 250 women victims and survivors of violence, including those with children, who are beneficiaries of the assistance centers across the country. Also, a series of protection products was offered to specialists within organizations active in the field of preventing and combating domestic violence.

The hygienic kits include masks and disinfectants as well as other essential products such as staple foods, liquid soap, menstrual hygiene products and baby diapers. Organizations also were equipped with useful information materials about COVID prevention and encouraged to take precautions measures against the disease.

The UN agencies and Swedish Government thus complemented the efforts of the Ministry of Health, Labor and Social Protection and the National Coalition “Life without Violence” to ensure with the necessary products women beneficiaries of 15 public associations, public institutions and placement centers from different regions of the country.

According to the National Bureau of Statistics, in the Republic of Moldova, about 64% of women have suffered at least once in their life a form of violence from their husband or partner. During the quarantine period recommended for combating COVID-19, exists the high risk that the number of violence cases might increase. In some countries practicing social distancing recently the reported cases of domestic violence have tripled. 

"In addition to the general efforts to mitigate the impact on society, the business environment, it is important to ensure that also is limited the impact on existing services, so that the functioning of the assistance centers in the country is not affected and their beneficiaries, including those with young children, continue receiving support. We understand the need to react in the urgent terms and analyze the possibilities of adapting the support to the current needs”, mentioned Anna Lyberg, Ambassador of Sweden in the Republic of Moldova.

“Continuous access to services for women victims and survivors of violence remains a priority, including their protection from the consequences caused by COVID-19. UN Women with financial support of Sweden supporting the efforts of  the Ministry of Health, Labor and Social Protection, of the National Coalition ”Life without Violence” and of other organizations to ensure that service providers active in the field of protection of victims and survivors of gender-based violence continue their work in a safe environment and that their beneficiaries are not left behind” – stated Peterson Magoola, Representative a.i for UN Women Moldova.

In times of crisis such as an outbreak, women and girls need increased protection. They face a higher risk of domestic violence, while the access to health services, including reproductive health, is limited. UNFPA, along with the UN family in Moldova and development partners, provides life-saving care and support to gender-based violence survivors, to meet their basic needs during this critical time,” said Nigina Abaszada, Resident Representative in Moldova.

The first case of COVID-19 was registered in the Republic of Moldova on March 7, and, according to official data on April 3, 505 cases have been confirmed. More than half of the affected people are women, including pregnant women and 16 children up to ten years old.

The UN system in Moldova supports the national response to the pandemic through coordinated activities, which aim to protect people, especially the most vulnerable, and increase the capacities of the national system in various fields.

Contact persons:

Iulia Cerevco, Communications officer, UN Women, Tel. 079420400 

Irina Lipcanu, Communications Analyst, UNFPA, Tel. 069162304