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France supports UN to establish a national toll-free hotline for victims of gender-based violence in Libya

The Address | Benghazi – Libya

TRIPOLI – France’s ambassador to Libya, Béatrice le Fraper du Hellen, and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) representative in Libya, Bérangère Böell-Yousfi, signed on Thursday a memorandum of intent, by which France will provide UNFPA with USD 100,000 to support the establishment of a national toll-free hotline for victims of gender-based violence (GBV) in Libya.

During the ceremony, which conceded with the International Women’s Day, Du Hellen said national toll-free hotline  will function as a gateway to safe and confidential gender-based violence services, including specialized counselling. It will enable victims of gender-based violence to access psychological support and serve as a referral to life saving services.

“France is committed to work with Libyan institutions, health personnel and civil society in protecting women from violence. The UNFPA project is spot on,”stated Du Hellen.

“Over 280,000 women are in need of lifesaving protection and basic services throughout Libya and are at risk of being victims of gender-based violence. We are thankful to France for their support to UNFPA for the establishment of the hotline to address the challenges around survivors’ help-seeking behaviors and alleviate their suffering,” said Böell-Yousfi.

The hotline will be integrated into the existing and functioning GBV referral pathway in Tripoli, which includes four health facilities with presence of local staff trained by UNFPA on Clinical Management of Rape (CMR), while the establishment of similar referral pathways in other locations is planned and under discussion in the GBV Sub-Sector Working Group.

Gender-based violence is widespread in Libya and has been exacerbated by the conflict, with approximately 40 per cent of surveyed women and men indicating GBV as either very common or common, as per UNFPA 2018 GBV Situational Analysis.

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