By Rekpene Uket
The Cross River State Commissioner for Women Affairs, Hon. Edema Irom has charged members of the state Taskforce on Gender-Based Violence (GBV) to be more proactive and committed to duty.
She gave the charge during the third quarter meeting of the Taskforce for 2023 at the multi-purpose hall of the Ministry of Women Affairs in Calabar.
The Hon. Commissioner emphasised the need for implementing Partners, Civil Society Organisations as well as other stakeholders to always send in their quarterly report on GBV prevention and response to her Ministry to enable them to update their data on the GBV dashboard of the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs.
Hon. Irom commended the efforts of all GBV Implementing Partners, Civil Society Organisations as well as other stakeholders on GBV prevention and response in the state adding that, her Ministry is done with their 2024 budget and that GBV issues as well as other contemporary issues of global concern are adequately captured in the budget.
The Hon. Commissioner also informed that her Ministry has been given a mandate on Consumer protection rights hence the need for more collaboration for effective mass literacy campaigns, advocacy and sensitidation programmes at the grassroots. She therefore called on all IPs, CSOs and other stakeholders to brace up for the task ahead.
The Taskforce meeting featured a technical session in which Partners and stakeholders presented their reports. These Implementing Partners include; Doctors without Borders, Basic Rights Counsel Initiative, Heartland Alliance, Excellent Community Education Welfare Scheme (ECEWS), Center for Clinical Care and Clinical Research Nigeria (CCCRN) amongst others.
The following resolutions were reached at the end of the meeting; Set up a WhatsApp portal for Taskforce, Develop and share reporting template to Taskforce, Advocacy visits to the wife of the Governor, Deputy Governor, Commissioner of Police, Media Institutions, Share terms of Reference on GBV multi-sectoral concept plan to Partners amongst others.
In a related development, the Commissioner for Women Affairs Hon. Edema Irom also met with the Cross River State Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC) Technical Working Group and a proposal was made for the establishment of the Cross River State OVC Trust Fund. The proposed funding sources include; State Internally Generated Revenue, Local Government Areas Allocation, state civil servants, private sector through corporate social responsibilities amongst others.
The structural framework of the Trust Fund is as follows; An account where the funds will be domiciled, a Management Committee, a Project Supervisory and Technical Committee as well as Implementation Agents.
In her remarks, Hon. Irom stressed the need for an effective and accurate data collation system as key for effective planning and Implementation as well as trust and sustainability of the project.
She drew the attention of Partners to the fact that Carnival Calabar is a few months away from now on which we usually have a large number of migrants in the state including orphans and vulnerable children hence the need for more collaboration with Partners and stakeholders for positive results adding that the Ministry of Women Affairs has the core mandate for orphans and vulnerable children and as such is driving the process hence the need for the Trust Fund account to be domiciled in the Ministry. She also emphasised the need for proper packaging of ideas to sell to corporate organisations as well as the need to brief and contact other relevant stakeholders and MDAs before the next meeting which is slated for 8th November 2023.