UN-GRZ Joint Programme Scales Up Efforts to Reduce Gender Based Violence – Donates Seven Vehicles to Zambia Police
The Zambia Police Service got a major boost recently when it received seven vehicles and forensic equipment from the United Nations and the Government of the Republic of Zambia Joint Programme on Gender Based Violence.
The Toyata pickups were procured at the cost of US$35,000 each for the Victim Support Unit of the Zambia Police for deployment to the Districts of Chongwe, Luwingu, Mazabuka, Muchinga, Nalolo and Petauke. An additional vehicle has been donated to the Police Headquarters to assist in monitoring and quality assurance of the services that are being provided by Victim Support Unit in communities.
The Joint Programme is supported by the Irish and Swedish Governments together with participating UN agencies with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) as the lead agency. This support is under ‘Outcome Two’ of the UN-GRZ Joint Programme on Gender Based Violence which supports increasing GBV survivors’ access to efficient justice delivery systems.
Handing over the vehicles and forensic equipment, Simon Cammelbeeck, the Acting UN Resident Coordinator in Zambia said the Victim Support Unit of the Zambia Police plays a critical role in identifying, responding to and investigating cases of GBV, thereby providing survivors with the necessary protection and also enabling them to access justice.
“We have made significant progress in achieving the results we had outlined when we launched the UN-GRZ Joint Programme in 2012. In the past year, we have supported the development of the GBV policy for the Health sector, Rules of Court, and the revision of the Penal Code, all of which are at various stages of completion. The country is at advanced stages of setting up fast track and Victim Friendly Courts for GBV survivors. The Forensic equipment that has also been procured will be of great assistance to police officers in forensic investigations and will go a long way in strengthening prosecution procedures,” Cammelbeeck said.
Receiving the vehicles, the Minister of Gender and Child Development, Inonge Wina thanked the cooperating partners for the gesture, noting that the donation of vehicles will go a long way in ensuring that protection is delivered to the most-at-risk community members.
“Despite a comprehensive legal and policy framework in place to reduce Gender Based Violence in Zambia, we have lately witnessed high incidents of GBV which has generally been a major concern for government. Reports from the Victim Support Unit indicate that cases of GBV were as high as 8,261 and rose to 8,467 in 2010. There were 11,908 reported cases of GBV in 2011 and 12,924 cases in 2012 countrywide. In 2013, from 1st January to 30th September, the number of GBV cases stood at 10,217. This figure does not include statistics from the last quarter of 2013,” Minister Wina said.
The seven Toyota pickups and forensic equipment were subsequently handed over to the Inspector General of Police, Stella Libongani for deployment in the seven districts to help make the Victim Support Unit more effective in responding to incidents of Gender Base Violence.
“With this help, I can assure that the officers will be able to respond swiftly to all matters of GBV in all the seven districts where the donated vehicles will be allocated,” the Inspector General of Police said.
UNDP's Country Director, Viola Morgan, described the donation as a fine example of how UNDP and partners are working together to support the Government of Zambia in its efforts to promote governance and the rule of law.