Press Release

EU joins UNFPA's "Women and Girls First" programme with EUR 5 Million funding

24 September 2019

Yangon, Myanmar – The European Union has allocated 5 million Euros to support the Women and Girls First programme managed by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). The funding allows UNFPA to scale up the programme on gender-based violence prevention and response as well as mental health and psychosocial support services to reach the most vulnerable women, girls and young people in conflicted-affected areas of Myanmar.

With the participation of the Kachin State Government, implementing partners and community members including civil society organizations, the official ceremony marking the European Union contribution to the Women and Girls First programme was held in Myitkyina, Kachin State on 24 September 2019.

 “The European Union is a global advocate for women's rights and gender equality. Together with the United Nations, we are leading a 500 million Euro initiative to end violence against women and girls: the Spotlight Initiative. Beyond advocacy, our engagement leads to concrete service delivery on the ground. The project we are funding today will help the Myanmar government to put women and girls first,“ said Mr. Kristian Schmidt, EU Ambassador to Myanmar.

Mr. Ramanathan Balakrishnan, UNFPA Representative for Myanmar, said, “We are very happy that we can further expand the Women and Girls First programme with EU support. Based on the good practices and lessons learned, we will invest more in critical GBV and mental health and psychosocial support services to meet the needs of women, girls and young people and to mobilize communities for positive social norm changes to prevent GBV.“

Working with the government and non-governmental organizations, the programme provides essential services to women and girls displaced by conflict in Rakhine, Kachin, Shan, Kayin and Mon States. The aim is to tackle gender-based violence and fulfill the sexual and reproductive rights of these populations. The programme also facilitates that evidence from on-the-ground interventions informs the development of national policies and laws that promote gender equality and women's empowerment. From 2016 to 2019, UNFPA’s Women and Girls First programme has been funded by Sweden, Finland, Australia and Italy.

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For further information, please contact: Janneke Bienert,  UNFPA Programme Specialist (Women and Girls First Programme)  bienert@unfpa.org