Reports reveal that the Covid-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdown has led to an upsurge in cases of gender-based violence (GBV). Together with other humanitarian efforts supported by the fund, GBV has been identified as one of the areas that need urgent attention.
With restrictions having increased the already high demand for GBV-related services, it has also been observed that this period has made it more difficult for women and children to access critical information and support. It is for this reason that the Solidarity Fund has made meaningful contributions to the lives of the thousands of women and children who have been negatively affected and displaced by GBV.
So far, the fund has paid out a lump sum of R17m towards the purchase of Personal Protective Equipment, support and aid to organisations that assist the victims of GBV. Furthermore, the fund will also be disbursing R75m, which will go towards assisting about 360 local community organisations that offer critical services to women and children affected by GBV.
Organisations set to benefit from the funds will be selected across the eco-system of GBV organisations and include those working in prevention, response and the judicial system. Determining who will become beneficiaries is an overwhelming task. To understand the priority of needs and direct efforts to maximise impact, the fund consulted widely with key stakeholders in the GBV space to determine the best course of action.
“At the Solidarity Fund, we are all too aware of the responsibility we have to the South African people, as well as of the importance of supporting and leading meaningful initiatives that make a sustainable impact.GBV has become in itself a pandemic running concurrently with Covid-19, and we will use the resources at our disposal to do our part in fighting this scourge,” said Nomkhita Nqweni, Solidarity Fund Chief Executive.