UN Women supported emergency shelter inaugurated in Afar
01 November 2021
UN Women supported the establishment of a center to respond to gender-based violence in Afar region.
The Association for Women’s Sanctuary and Development (AWSAD) officially opened its emergency shelter in Semera, capital of Afar, on 23 September 2021 in the presence of H.E. Ayisha Yasin, Head of the Afar Region Bureau of Women, Children and Youth Affairs (BoWCYA), H.E. Yasin Mohammed, Deputy Mayor of Semera, and representatives of relevant government sectors and non-governmental agencies, UN Women Ethiopia, media and other stakeholders.
In her welcoming remarks at the opening of the shelter, Mrs. Maria Munir, the Executive Directress of AWSAD, acknowledged UN Women’s support and the engagement of other stakeholders for the establishment of the safehouse providing holistic services such as safe accommodation, food, counselling, medical and legal care as emergency response to internally displaced women and girls survivors of violence because of the ongoing conflict in northern Ethiopia.
H.E Ayisha Yasin commended the timely response in establishing the shelter and highlighted the regional government’s contribution to address the challenges faced by many women and girls survivors of GBV in the region.
“At the government level, we recently established a center to respond to the basic needs of GBV survivors. However, lack of a holistic rehabilitation center has been the main challenge. AWSAD’s safehouse is the first of its kind with such rehabilitation service in the region and our collaboration will make the support sustainable.”
The shelter in Semera town, located over 670 km from Addis Ababa, has a starting capacity for thirty beneficiaries at a time and is a response to the humanitarian challenge in the north. It aims to protect women and girls survivors or those at risk of violence through rehabilitation and reintegration services. Funded by the Government of Denmark and UNOCHA, the shelter is also part of the UN Women’s initiative supported by the Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF) to mitigate, prevent, and respond to GBV amongst crisis affected communities including Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).
UN Women Ethiopia has been working in collaboration with AWSAD for over ten years. The shelter in Semera is the seventh in the country and UN Women supported five of them operating in different regions with different capacities. The support on the establishment of shelters in different regions of the country is among the approaches applied to prevent as well as to respond to violence against women and girls in the country.
UN entities involved in this initiative
United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women