UNDP Moldova donated a batch of personal protective equipment and sanitizers to the Health Center and City Hall in Chirsova village, a partner community in Gagauz autonomy, where a project to prevent gender-based violence is being implemented for almost two years. The equipment will help doctors and members of the local multidisciplinary team to protect themselves from the novel coronavirus, including when monitoring families at risk of violence.

Overall, Chirsova community received 160 gowns, 60 protective screens, 1,500 masks (of which 200 are reusable), 2,000 shoe covers, 35 litres of sanitizer, and disposable gloves. The donation was made within "Addressing violence against women in the Republic of Moldova: exploring and learning from local solutions" project, implemented by UNDP and funded by the Republic of Korea.

"Even during confinement, the local multidisciplinary team has monitored the situation of families in which cases of violence may occur. The equipment donated by UNDP will help us to keep the situation under control both in terms of the spread of the novel coronavirus and in terms of gender-based violence cases," said Sergei Sapunji, mayor of Chirsova village.

"The crisis period triggered by COVID-19 is also marked by a significant increase in incidents of gender-based violence. The lockdown and 'stay at home' movement, meant to protect us from the spread of the pandemic, in fact could become a trap for many women, who are left alone with their aggressors. At local level, doctors, social workers and mayors are forced to fight in the first line, not only trying to mitigate the epidemic, but also to prevent violence. UNDP Moldova made this donation to protect them against the novel coronavirus, including when monitoring families where there is a risk of violence," said Olesea Cazacu, Programme Analyst, UNDP Moldova.

The project "Addressing violence against women in the Republic of Moldova: exploring and learning from local solutions" is implemented during 2018-2020 by UNDP and funded by the Republic of Korea. The initiative is part of a global UNDP project that aims to address violence prevention at large-scale, involving new partners, strategies and funding sources. The project is implemented in seven countries across the globe, Moldova being the only one in Europe.

With the support of the project, a multidisciplinary team was set up in Chirsova, which is ready to act in all cases of risk to the life and safety of women and their children. At the same time, the specialists are responsible for the prevention of violence, so they organize activities that involve all the people of the village, both adults and young people.

Also, the project will enable a specialized centre for women survivors of violence and their children in Gagauzia region. The full renovation of the building, initiated by UNDP and the Executive Committee of Gagauzia, was completed at the end of 2019. Currently, the commissioning procedures are under way, after which employees will be selected. The service will provide social, psychological and legal assistance to the beneficiaries and will help them find decent jobs.

Contact for mass-media: Vitalie Frecăuţeanu, Project Coordinator, UNDP Moldova, vitalie.frecauteanu@undp.org, Tel: +373 69602254

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