March 10, 2022 – The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) is partnering with 11 crisis centers and civil society organizations to protect and assist victims of gender-based violence, as well as support efforts to prevent such violence. USAID announced this new $1.1 million dollar initiative today during a special event in Bishkek devoted to International Women’s Day.
The “Gender-Based Violence Survivor Pathways” initiative launch took place with participation of the Minister of Labor, Social Welfare and Migration Kudaibergen Bazarbaev, member of Parliament Gulsharkan Kultaeva, and Charge D’Affaires, a.i., U.S. Embassy to the Kyrgyz Republic, Sonata N. Coulter.
“Crisis centers around the world are vital safe spaces for victims of domestic violence, where they can heal and revive. Under this initiative, survivors will receive needed psychological, social, legal, and economic help. They will also have the opportunity to learn new job skills so that they have the opportunity to earn their own living,” said Sonata N. Coulter during her opening remarks.
The new funding will help improve legal and psychological support services of 11 crisis centers and civil society organizations that work across the Kyrgyz Republic – in Batken, Bishkek, Jalal-Abad, Naryn, Issyk-Kul, Osh, and Talas. In addition, USAID will support enhanced cooperation between the government and civil society so that crisis centers’ services are guided by national standards that respond effectively to the needs of gender-based violence survivors.
“The fight against gender-based and domestic violence is one of the important areas of state policy,” said Janyl Alybaeva in her speech, “As part of the implementation of the National Development Program of the Kyrgyz Republic until 2026, mechanisms will be developed to improve the interaction of all parties to protect against domestic violence, provide support to families, ensure child protection and prevention measures. As part of the public procurement, the government will establish new or support existing institutions that work with vulnerable citizens who have suffered from domestic violence.”
Another important aspect of this initiative is helping crisis centers become sustainable by implementing business ideas. Potentially, these centers can become small social businesses like sewing shops or laundry services and create jobs for women who have experienced violence.
This initiative will be implemented through two USAID projects – Jigerduu Jarandar and Enterprise Competitiveness Project in cooperation with the Ministry of Labor, Social Welfare, and Migration and other partners.
In 2021, the Kyrgyz Republic Ministry of Internal Affairs registered 10,151 cases of domestic violence, a 12 percent increase compared to 2020. However, experts estimate that the number of unreported cases and victims is much higher.
For more information, please contact:
Dinara Akmatbekova, at the USAID Jigerduu Jarandar project,
+996 550 206652, Dakmatbekova@fhi360.org or
Zhyldyz Niyazalieva, at the USAID’ Enterprise Competitiveness project, +996 554 778594, ZNiiazalieva@ecp-kyrgyzstan.org