United Nations Family Planning Fund (UNFPA) on Wednesday handed over 120 motorcycles worth K232 million to Malawi Government to be used in the fight against violence against women and girls in the country.
The handover ceremony took place at National Police Headquarters in Lilongwe and a total of 52 motorcycles will be allocated to the Malawi Police Service as a key partner.
The motorcycles worth K232 million have been provided under the Spotlight Initiative aimed at eliminating violence against women and girls in various districts of the country.
Speaking after the handover ceremony, Minister of Gender Patricia Kaliati said the donation has come at a right time and the motorbikes will help a lot in the fight against gender based violence in the country.
“We have been fighting gender based violence and we thank the UN Women for this project Spotlight Initiative through the UNFPA in the fight against gender based violence on our women and children. So, this is going to take us a long way especially knowing that we work hand in hand with our stakeholders and one of the stakeholders of the Ministry of Gender is the Police service.
“So UNFPA thought it wise to support the Police as well in fight against gender based violence. The motorbikes are going to take a long way in the areas where we the spotlight initiative and we thank them for the support and we are looking forward to them to continue supporting the Ministry of Gender in the fight against gender based violence,” explained Kaliati.
In her remarks, Inspector General for Malawi Police Service, Merlyn Yolamu, said the motorbikes will improve mobility for Police officers as they work in areas where spotlight initiative project is being implemented and also implementing victim support unit (VSU) activities.
“Malawi Police Service is one of the main stakeholders in the fight against Violence against women and girls.
“This donation has come at a right time when the service is indeed looking for vehicles or motorbikes for mobility to reach out to all those that are affected. We think it is going to assist us in our work to make the women safe because there are some areas that we cannot go with a vehicle and now that we have motorbikes, they will assist to go to all those places,” said Yolamu.
UNFPA OIC Miranda Tabifor said provision of essential services to gender based violence is a key component of the spotlight initiative that ensures no one is left behind and the procurement of motorbikes and bicycles will go a long way to facilitate access to services by women and girls.
“UNFPA would like to extend special gratitude to the European Union for providing funds for the Spotlight Initiative programme under which the motorbikes have been procured. The total cost is US$224,400 (approx. MK232,478.400.00),” explained Tabifor.
According to Tabifor, the Spotlight Initiative Programme is aimed at targeting the most at risk groups with accelerated efforts towards elimination of violence against women and girls including sexual gender-based violence and harmful practices.
One of the key results to be achieved in under the Spotlight initiative in Malawi is to ensure that marginalized girls and women access quality, integrated essential services that include sexual and reproductive health, justice, prosecution, and psychosocial support.