Date Publish: 
Wednesday, December 9, 2015

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) supported 360 women survivors of gender violence with the transfer of seed capital, amounting to USD $63,000.00, to finance their businesses, and thus have greater economic autonomy, while reiterating its commitment to support the reduction of violence against women and to empower them.

IOM, together with the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), contributes to the reduction of violence against women including the extreme manifestations: trafficking and femicide, through interventions on the decisive factors under project of the Central American Security Strategy (ESCA) called BA1 - Prevention of Violence against Women in Central America, financed by the Government of Finland and the Netherlands. The project operates in the eight member countries of the Central American Integration System (SICA) and directly benefits women living at risk, or that have survived, domestic violence or trafficking.

The official contribution event was led by IOM´s Regional Director for North America, Central America and the Caribbean, Marcelo Pisani; the Deputy Foreign Minister of Migration Affairs of Honduras, Maria Andrea Matamoros; and the Vice Minister of the Ministry of Security, Alejandra Hernandez. Other participants were the IOM’s Chief of Mission for El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, Jorge Peraza Breedy; and IOM’s Regional Coordinator for BA1, Paola Zepeda.

In his speech, Marcelo Pisani commended Honduras on the progress made and acknowledged that with the adherence of that country to "this regional effort, is expected to benefit a total of 4,000 women with the delivery of seed capital." Also, Pisani called on the private sector to join this initiative and provide technical assistance on specific issues that would strengthen the new businesses of the beneficiaries, while reminding them that a life free from Violence is a human right.

IOM prioritizes partnerships with similar institutions and thus unite efforts in favour of vulnerable populations. That is how it collaborates with the Foundation for the Integral Development of Women and the Family (FUDEIMFA), who not only manages a solidarity credit that helps beneficiaries to access funding, but has also supported the project with training for the development of their business plans.

It is necessary to include the educational component in order to achieve the objectives of BA.1, that seek to generate new economic triggers, as it contributes to the creation of sustainable and profitable projects. Thus, prior to the delivery of seed capital, the beneficiaries were also trained on issues such as financial management, accounting controls and prevention of violence. Meanwhile, the seed capital was delivered in species, that is, equipment and tools, materials and supplies needed for new businesses. The newly created enterprises supported with this investment include cafes, sewing shops, and bakeries, among others.

IOM contributions also seek to strengthen government’s capacities to respond to gender-based violence. In Honduras, IOM works closely with the Ministry of Security, the National Institute for Women (INAM) and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Therefore, the Vice Chancellor Matamoros said that "the support and commitment received by the Government of Honduras, in the prevention of violence against women and girls, has facilitated the strengthening of public policies".

Similarly, and in late November in El Salvador, IOM strengthened the National Civil Police (PNC) and the Directorate General of Statistics and Censuses (DIGESTYC) with the delivery of computer equipment to strengthen the National System of Statistics, Data and Information of Violence against Women (SNDE).

The equipment included 34 last generation desktops and network storage devices with a value of more than $ 50,000, to help collect geographical indicators to make informed decisions on the status of women.

The official handover was chaired by IOM’s National Programme Officer for El Salvador, Diana Ruiz de Arteaga; Minister of Justice and Security, Benito Lara; Executive Director of the Salvadoran Institute for the Development of Women (ISDEMU), Yanira Argueta; the Director General of the DIGESTYC; Deputy Director of the PNC, Howard Cotto and the Assistant Representative of United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Mario Iraheta.

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For more information, please contact Alba Miriam Amaya, IOM El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras at [email protected]