Dili, 16/02/2021 – Four UN agencies: UN Women, UNDP, UNFPA and IOM through the generous funding of the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) in Timor-Leste with the State Secretariat for Equality and Inclusion (SEII) launched today a four-year USD 7.7 million project titled “Together for Equality: Preventing and Responding to Gender-Based Violence in Timor-Leste” to enhance efforts for all women and girls in Timor-Leste to enjoy their right to live free from gender-based violence, and access quality essential services.
The partnership supports Timor-Leste’s implementation of its National Action Plan on Gender-Based Violence, led by the State Secretariat for Equality and Inclusion (SEII) and will collaborate with key line ministries and civil society organizations working to preventing gender-based violence (GBV), provide support to key health and justice services, strengthen monitoring and reporting on violence in public and private spaces, and address GBV in the context of disaster risk reduction.
The project, signed on November 23, 2020, is reaching approximately 200,000 direct beneficiaries in 3 municipalities (Dili, Baucau, Covalima) and the Special Administrative Region of Oecusse Ambeno, complementing other initiatives to indirectly reach and benefit the whole population of Timor-Leste through the generous funding of KOICA.
KOICA is a Korean Government agency which supports Timor-Leste to achieving the SDGs. This project directly supports KOICA’s global flagship “Fill the Gap” Initiative supporting countries to reach targets on SDG 5 on gender equality. In Timor-Leste, KOICA has been partnering with the UN through various different projects to support the development of the country.
Korean Ambassador to Timor-Leste, His Excellency Kim Jeong Ho said, "Due to the COVID-19 pandemic crisis, vulnerable groups such as survivors of gender-based violence are becoming more marginalized. We will promote our project with the goal of creating a safe world for everyone, where violence does not occur in any crisis situation."
The Embassy of the Republic of Korea in the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste is engaging in various aid activities in a range of fields such as education, health, gender equality and capacity-building through KOICA.
Secretary of State for Equality and Inclusion, Her Excellency Maria José da Fonseca Monteiro de Jesus in her remarks stated, “Violence against women and girls is still one of the biggest problems in Timor-Leste, and ending the violence is not an easy effort anywhere in the world. Different government institutions together with many partners have good collaborative efforts, but we still witness and hear many cases around the country. The additional support from the Government of Korea through KOICA will provide great support to complement the efforts of Timor-Leste’s government to end GBV and promote gender mainstreaming with line ministries to ensure that state budgets are gender-responsive.”
The Project will use approaches shown to be effective to prevent GBV from happening in the first place. It will reach individuals (including young people and groups often facing discrimination), and support families and communities to gain the knowledge and skills to be agents of change and stand up against sexual harassment and other forms of GBV. The project will support key government institutions to expand their reach and improve the quality of essential support services, to reach more survivors of violence and encourage others to seek support. It will contribute to better monitoring and stronger accountability to translate commitments on paper into actions in practice, working with civil society and government, and involving media and reaching the wider public.
“Together for Equality brings together the expertise and roles of Timor-Leste Government institutions, the four UN agencies (UN Women, UNDP, UNFPA and IOM) and KOICA. It builds on our collective strengths as partners to address the connected issues of domestic violence in the family, sexual harassment and violence in public spaces as well as GBV in the context of disasters.” Said Sunita Caminha, UN Women Timor-Leste Head of Office, on behalf of the four collaborating UN agencies.