GEORGETOWN, 10 FEBRUARY 2021 – The Government of Guyana, through the “Enabling, Gender-Responsive Disaster Recovery, Climate and Environmental Resilience in the Caribbean (EnGenDER) Project”, is supporting several efforts to tackle gender-based violence through the COVID-19 pandemic in Guyana. The support is targeted at vulnerable groups (mostly women) who are more at risk of violence during the pandemic given social isolation measures, restricted movement and increased economic pressures within the household.
EnGenDER is a key initiative (being implemented by the UNDP in partnership with UN Women, World Food Program and the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Management Agency (CDEMA)) that seeks to address the issue of climate change impacts particularly on vulnerable groups such as women, children, youth, persons living with disabilities, and indigenous and tribal populations and is co-funded by the Government of Canada and the UK Government. Recognizing that COVID-19 has brought new challenges and hurdles for the people of Guyana including many who are trapped at home with their abusers, EnGenDER reallocated part of the project funding to support efforts to help stop violence while simultaneously supporting the people who have been victims of this violence.
The support includes: (1) the procurement of personal protective equipment (PPE) which will benefit over 100 officers within the Guyana Police Force who are trained to handle GBV issues; (2) the distribution of food hampers through the Ministry of Human Services and Social Security which will benefit 470 vulnerable women and other vulnerable groups, many of whom are survivors of gender-based violence; and (3) the supply of communication equipment including 3 GPS units, 3 satellite phones and 3 laptop computers to the Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development which is expected to improve real time communications and enhance data management and analysis in remote communities, to help improve disaster management, including COVID-19 response. The project, through the Office of the President, is also currently exploring options for installing handwashing stations in several vulnerable communities and supporting GBV messaging.
Guyana Resident Representative (UNDP), Mr. Jairo Valverde, noted that “the effects of climate change and natural disasters exacerbate the challenges of inequality and socioeconomic vulnerability. Gender equality and human rights are essential to the successful implementation of disaster risk management strategies. The best investment we can make for tomorrow is to develop influential strategies today to ensure resilience for the future. We are very grateful to the Government of Canada and the Government of the United Kingdom, and through them, to their taxpayers for the support to the project that has made this venture possible in contributing to the country’s COVID 19 response initiative in Guyana”.
The EnGenDER Project has as its core objective to assist the Caribbean in becoming a more resilient region where there is a reduced impact of natural disasters on the public sector and vulnerable persons. The EnGenDER COVID-19 Response Initiative is providing USD$ 1,149,000 to the nine (9) ODA eligible beneficiary countries to implement projects and activities which address gender-based violence, curb the spread of the coronavirus and provide essential goods and services as well as income support to the most vulnerable to strengthen their emergency response. These initiatives ensure that the project’s overall objective of reducing rather than exacerbating gender vulnerabilities is achieved by making certain that society’s most vulnerable are reached and assisted during and after crises.
For Additional Information on the COVID Response Initiative or the EnGenDER Project please contact Mr. Massimiliano Tozzi, Project Manager at email address firstname.lastname@example.org.
Canadian High Commission, UKAID, UN Women, World Food Programme, CDEMA