Gweru (New Ziana) – The United Nations Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in the country Edward Kallon has expressed satisfaction with Zimbabwe’s efforts towards addressing gender-based violence (GBV) and HIV prevention and care among key populations.
Speaking after a tour of a sexual and reproductive health drop-in centre for key populations and the Gweru Provincial Hospital one stop centre for survivors of gender-based violence, Kallon said he was impressed by strides taken by the government to support integrated services that are being implemented by UN agencies that include United Nations Population Fund, UN Women and World Health Organisation among others.
“This (work by government) is what we are proposing and we continue to encourage governments to have in place integrated services that provide services for the most vulnerable,” he said.
He applauded President Emmerson Mnangagwa for embracing the Spotlight initiative, which is a global partnership to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls being implemented by UN agencies.
“Our Spotlight initiative has been a trailblazer here in Zimbabwe and infact, the Zimbabwe team just received an award in Cancun (Mexico) on the integrated services that are being supported by the Spotlight initiative.
“We are very happy with the engagement of the President (Mnangagwa) in such initiatives and also putting in place enabling policies to address issues of sexual gender-based violence,” Kallon said.
The UN chief in the country, who is on a one week visit to the Midlands province, said he will have an opportunity to appreciate what government is doing in the province to implement the National Development Strategy 1 and how the UN can, through the cooperation network, complement the efforts of the government.
“I want to appreciate what the government is doing in public and private sector investment and how it is moving forward to implement NDS1 in Midlands Province,” he said.
Apart from appreciating what the UN is doing with the Government of Zimbabwe, Kallon said he was also in the province to discuss possible partnerships with the Midlands province.
Gweru One Stop Centre head Nyarai Mubaiwa said the centre had a number of challenges that need to be addressed.
She said an average of 50 gender-based violence survivors are assisted at the centre on a monthly basis.\