KAMPALA – The Chief Justice, Alphonse Owiny-Dollo has paid special tribute to the donors including Austria, Sweden, and the European Union, for giving hope to the gender-based violence survivors.
The Chief Justice was on Tuesday officiating at the hand over ceremony of assortments by the United Nations Population Fund – UNFPA to the Ministry of Health, the Uganda Bureau of Statistics (UBOS), the Judiciary, and Uganda Police Force to advance sexual reproductive health and rights including access to justice by suvivors of gender-baned violence at the UNFPA Uganda Head offices in Kololo, Kampala.
UNFPA with funding from the Austrian Development Cooperation, the Embassy of Sweden in Uganda, and the European Union, has handed over an assortment of equipment worth USD297,381 (over UGX1.06 billion).
“I can confidently say that this invaluable support will help us in accelerating the realisation of one of our utmost dreams-strengthening the use of ICT in the delivery of justice. We promise to deploy to proper and effective use, these court recording devices and laptop computers, in line with our partnership objectives,” said the Chief Justice.
Servers and tablets for data collection worth USD100,624 (approx UGX359 millions) have been procured for the UBOS with funding from the European Union (EU) under the Spotlight Initiative to support harmonization and strengthening of health management systems for effective data collection, reporting, documentation of sexual reproductive hearth and rights information.
In addition, fistula tables, sexual assault kits and colposcopes worth USD125,653 (approx. UGX449 million) have been procured for the Ministry of Health for use in examining and treatment of survivors of sexual and gender-based violence.
“This support is crucial towards our concerted efforts together with our Ugandan partners to eliminate violence against women and girls. Uganda is one of eight African countries and the only one in East Africa, benefiting from our global Spotlight Initiative. In collaboration with the United Nations we are working for significant and transformative change to end violence against women and girls in Uganda,” said the EU Ambassador to Uganda – Amilo Pacific.
Through UNFPA, the Embassy of Sweden in Uganda has invested USD37,910 (Approx UGX135 million) for the
procurement of heavy steel cabinets and bio-fridges for Uganda Police for storage of files and evidence of sexual and gender-based violence cases.
The Ambassador of Sweden in Uganda, HE Maria Häkansson re-affirmed support to the Government of Uganda working with UN agencies to ensure universal access to quality, integrated sexual and reproductive health and rights, gender-based violence prevention and response, and HIV information and services.
“With the current pandemic resulting in an increasing number of teenage pregnancies, child marriages and gender-based violence, it is now more than ever before important that we all continue and strengthen our collaboration and commitment to address gender-based violence in Uganda,” said H.E. Häkansson.
To further strengthen access to justice for survivors of gender-based violence, the Austria Development Cooperation supported the procurement of computers and court audio recorders worth USD33,194 (approx UGX118 million) for the Judiciary for use during mobile court sessions of sexual and gender-based violence cases.
“As part of the 16 days of activism on violence against women and girls, we are proud as Austria to support access for sexual and gender-based violence survivors, including the gesture of the handing over of court equipment to support special court sessions to facilitate access to justice,” said Dr. Roswitha Kremser, the Head of the Coordination Office for Development Cooperation, Austrian Embassy in Kampala.
The UNFFA Representative in Uganda, Dr Mary Otieno said that the joint handover ceremony is an illustration that is provided by the different partners are greared towards driving an integrated package of rights to advance sexual and reproductive health in Uganda.
“Leveraging on the comparative advantage of both the government institutions and synergies between the projects supported by different donors, UNFPA is committed to support Uganda’s efforts to protect the women and girls of Uganda. Now more than ever, it’s clear that only through partnership and cooperation can we ensure healthy, safe and prosperous future for all said,” Dr. Otieno.
“I am grateful to our development partners, the European Union, the Embassy of Sweden in Uganda, and the Austrian Development Cooperation for the support. In this period when health services are stretched due to Covid-19 pandemic, it is critical to ensure that sexual reproductive health and rights services, including prevention and respome to gender-based violence are not sidelined,” Dr. Otieno added.
The Chief Justice, Owiny-Dollo, said that the Government of Uganda is eternally grateful for this gesture and looks forward to a continued and fruitful partnership in endeavor to make Justice accessible to all.