The government of Australia has signed an agreement with United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), to support the Maldivian government’s Covid-19 response efforts.
The USD 300,000 grant agreement was signed on Tuesday, by High Commissioner of Australia to Maldives, David Holly, and the Country Director of the UNFPA Maldives, Ritsu Nacken.
Its purpose is “to ensure that essential Reproductive Health (RH) and Gender based Violence (GBV) information and services are accessible to women and girls during the pandemic.”
UNFPA said that the new funding will strengthen Maldives’ “response to ensure essential Reproductive Health (RH) and GBV services are accessible to women and girls in the context of Covid-19,” and added that the grant “will support the operationalization of two RH centres in Male’ and Haa Dhaal atoll to provide a holistic one stop platform to access services, build capacity of service providers to support GBV survivors, undertake advocacy and procure Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for RH facilities across the country.”
During the signing ceremony, High Commissioner Holly said that “Australia is pleased to support UNFPA to provide services to women and girls during the Covid-19 pandemic in Maldives.”
Noting that “experience shows that domestic, sexual and gender-based violence increases during crises and disasters,” the high commissioner highlighted the importance of support services for women and girls in Maldives can now continue during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Australia’s support to UNFPA forms part of an AUD 630,000 package of support from Australia to Maldives to prepare for, respond to, and recover from Covid-19.