Minister of Finance Signs 15 million Euros EU-UN Spotlight Initiative Financing Agreement to Fight SGBV

Minister of Finance Sheku Ahmed Fantamadi Bangura, Thursday, 11th April 2024, signed a 15 million Euro financing agreement with the European Union on the EU-United Nations joint Spotlight Initiative to support the fight against Sexual Gender Base Violence against women and girls.

Speaking in a brief ceremony before the signing, Manuel Muller, Ambassador of the European Union to Sierra Leone, stated that the financing agreement’s signing demonstrates EU support for the initiatives of the Government of Sierra Leone in the fight against violence against women and girls through close cooperation with the United Nations.

Ambassador Muller further stated that the 15 million euro from the EU and the global partnership with the UN, the Spotlight Initiative, aims at addressing SGBV with a multi-stakeholder approach.

The initiative brings together the Ministry of Finance in setting budgetary priority, the Ministry of Gender and Children Affairs in the lead to on violence against women, the Ministry of Social Welfare, the Ministry of Health to provide psychosocial support and medical services to survivors, the Ministry of Basic and Senior Secondary Education and the Ministry of Justice.

Nadia Rasheed, Acting UN Resident Coordinator and UNFPA Country Representative stated that the Spotlight Initiative is the biggest global effort to end SGBV. She also states that this initiative recognises the work and achievement of the Government of Sierra Leone in advancing attention to ending SGBV and provides an opportunity for catalytic funding with a more strategic and cooperative approach.

She further stated that four UN agencies (UNFPA, UNDP, UNICEF, UN – Women) are part of the programme to work with the government and CSOs.

Dr Isata Mahoi, Minister of Gender and Children Affairs, appreciated the efforts of the EU and UN under the Spotlight Initiative to end SGBV.

She commits to the full implementation, monitoring and oversight of the programme.

Dr Mahoi further stated that the issues of SGBV are critical in advancing the development of women and girls, as articulated in the national development plan.

Minister of Finance Sheku Ahmed Fantamadi Bangura stated that the 15 million Euro grant is a phenomenal support to the fight against violence against women and girls.

He further stated that the government can deepen reforms around the issues to support the existing policies and legal and institutional reform.

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