New Zealand has agreed to provide Vt375 million to assist the Department of Women’s Affairs and UN Women address gender-based violence and empowering women and girls in Vanuatu.

Violence against women and girls is recognised worldwide as a social and public health violation that has grave physical, emotional, psychological and financial consequences for those impacted, such as in Vanuatu its rate is high in the Pacific and women experience physical or sexual intimate partner violence.

In response to that Vanuatu will benefit from the New Zealand government to an amount of VT375 million to implement the Pacific-Wide Partnership to End Violence Against Women and Girls program or it also called Pacific Partnership, in the country.

The Pacific Partnership brings together government, civil society organisations, communities and other partners to promote gender equality, prevent violence against women and girls, and increase access to quality response services for survivors.

By introducing this Pacific Partnership in Vanuatu, a signing agreement to mark the launching was done yesterday between the High Commissioner of New Zealand to Vanuatu, Jonathan Schass at the department of Women’s Affairs between.

The Director General of the ministry of Justice who looks after the Department of Women, Doresday Kenneth said violence against women is everybody’s business.

“To combat violence in Vanuatu, one institution alone cannot achieve that goal and everyone must join hands together and everyone must have an open mind and set up integrated to reduce the rate of that violence not only in Vanuatu but also in other countries in the Pacific”, she said.

The Pacific Partnership has been introduced in some countries of the Pacific namely, Solomon Islands and Tonga funded by the European Union.

The Pacific Partnership aims to transform the social norms that allow violence against women and girls to continue; to ensure survivors have access to quality response services; and to support national and regional institutions to meet their commitments to gender equality and prevention of violence against women and girls.

Working through partners, it will promote equal rights and opportunities for all Pacific people, through innovative approaches to education, access to essential services, and policy development.

New Zealand High Commissioner to Vanuatu, Jonathan Schwass said Pacific Partnership is operating successfully around the Pacific but not until yesterday now in Vanuatu.

“The program we’re embarking on today is about bringing the Pacific Partnership to Vanuatu and we’ve recognized that the problem needs to be tackled at many levels, in the home, in schools, in the church, through civil society, the police and local and central government”, he said.

Commissioner Schwass also added that it’s clear to them as many of the issues come deep from within Vanuatu’s society and culture, so it must be addressed from within.

VT105 million will be released annually for three years.