By Oswald Agwu (INN), Abakaliki
The Ebonyi State Government has pledged to incorporate economic empowerment of Gender-based violence survivors into its 2024 Budget.
The State Commissioner for Budget and Planning, Mrs Chinwe Okah made the commitment while addressing members of the State GBV Taskforce in her office in Abakaliki, Monday.
INN reports that Okah was a former Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, under whose tenure the GBV taskforce was set up.
The Taskforce, led by its State Coordinator, Barr. Mrs Faithvin Nwanchor were in the Commissioners office on an advocacy visit.
Speaking for the group, Nwanchor requested the State government through the Commissioner, to capture the economic empowerment and welfare of survivors in the coming State Budget.
Nwanchor, observed that most survivors of domestic and gender based violence often find it difficult to overcome the trauma as a result of poor economic background.
She explained that empowering them economically and with skills would help them pull through their post- traumatic experiences, as well as help them integrate fully into the society.
Nwanchor also urged the Commissioner to help follow up with the inclusion and release of budgetary provisions for the State’s GBV Safe Space, including feeding, clothing and other logistics to make it fully operational, adding that such would ensure that GBV survivors, especially the vulnerable ones have a modest place away from danger.
She praised the passion of the commissioner towards stemming the tides of Gender-based violence in the State and expressed optimism that the group’s request would be favourably granted.
Nwanchor added: “The taskforce since its inauguration in 2021 has done a lot in responding to GBV issues in the State.
“You were instrumental to the setting up of this Taskforce as the then Commissioner for Women Affairs and Social Development, and we are blessed to have you today in the Budget Ministry.”
Responding, the Commissioner assured the group that she would ensure that their requests are incorporated in the Budget.
Describing the taskforce as her Child, she expressed her readiness to continue to partner with them in achieving zero tolerance to GBV in Ebonyi State.
Okah assured: “This has been my brain child and I would want it to be sustained.
“I will make sure all you have here are incorporated in the budget, and I will liaise with the commissioner for Women Affairs to ensure that they are captured in the Ministry’s budget under the social sector.”
The Ebonyi State GBV Taskforce is composed of representatives of the Judiciary, Law enforcement Agencies: Police, Civil Defense; NAPTIP and other Social support organizations; National Human Rights Commission, Ministries of Women Affairs, Health and its implementing partners, Civil Society Organizations as well as the Media.