US to help DRC victims of sexual violence

2009-12-23 09:54

THE US will finance a programme to help women who have been victims

of sexual violence in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, the US embassy

announced yesterday.

“This $7 million (about R54 million) project provides support for

clinics, hospitals and community centres for women and children who have been

victims of rape,” the embassy said in a statement.

The project, baptised Espoir (Hope), was jointly launched by the

Congolese government and the US embassy and is financed by the development

agency USAID.

The work will be carried out by the non-governmental organisation,

the International Rescue Committee.

In mid-August, during a visit to Goma, the capital of the eastern

Nord-Kivu province, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton committed Washington

to work with the Kinshasa government and various other institutions to fight

against sexual violence.

Tens of thousands of women and young girls in Nord-Kivu and

Sud-Kivu provinces have been assaulted, kidnapped, raped and mutilated by

members of the armed movements and also by soldiers of the Congolese army,

according to the United Nations.


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