Hanoi (VNA) – The Government of Japan has provided Indonesia with 2.86 million USD through the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) to protect and maintain the dignity of women and vulnerable groups during COVID-19 pandemic in the Southeast Asian country.

According to Himawan Hariyoga Djojokusumo, Secretary of the Ministry for National Development Planning of Indonesia, the support is the continuance of an agreement on national action plan between the Indonesian government and the UNFPA.

The Indonesian government will continue to give initiatives to ensure sustainable development through partnerships with international organisations and partner countries, he said.

The prolonged pandemic, combined with natural disasters in different parts of Indonesia, have taken a heavy toll on women and vulnerable populations who are facing increased risk of gender-based violence (GBV) and greater barriers to their access to sexual and reproductive health (SRH) and other essential services.

Through a project entitled Leave No One Behind (LNOB), the partnership between UNFPA and Japan will ensure continued and equal access to life-saving SRH services and outreach to vulnerable populations that are bearing the brunt of the pandemic, which include pregnant women, GBV survivors, people living with HIV, older persons, and persons with disabilities.

UNFPA and the Government of Japan, in collaboration with the Government of Indonesia and civil society organisations, are committed to protecting women and vulnerable populations in Indonesia during the pandemic to ensure no one is left behind during COVID-19 response as well as Indonesia’s pursuit of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The funds will also help provide dignity kits to women and other vulnerable populations along with service providers, including midwives, GBV first responders, and social workers.

The one-year project is part of the global UNFPA-Japan joint COVID-19 life-saving response project in 18 countries in Asia-Pacific, Middle East, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, and East and Southern Africa Regions./.