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U.S. Government Programs To Address Sexual and Gender-Based Violence in the Democratic Republic of the Congo


Fact Sheet
Women's Issues
April 29, 2011

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Since 2002, the United States Government (USG) has been a major bilateral donor in the response to widespread sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Through the U.S. Agency for International Development, the Department of State, and Department of Defense, USG-funded programs aim to improve access to care and treatment services for survivors, fight impunity for perpetrators through support for legal reform and strengthening of the civilian and military judicial systems, and promote community awareness of and response to SGBV. Many programs since 2002 have ended or been extended through new awards; the following list refers to ongoing programs.

USAID Programs

USAID/DRC implements programs across the country through awards to international organizations and American or third-country non-governmental organizations that, in turn, provide capacity building to local NGOs and community-based organizations. Local organizations then identify and deliver services to rape and abuse survivors. USAID also assists hospitals to provide fistula repair services. USAID currently works with more than 90 local NGOs for Social Protection programs – the overwhelming majority of whom are operative in eastern DRC.

Since 2002, USAID/DRC has supported interventions to respond to and prevent acts of SGBV in the DRC, including in the east as part of a broader effort for stabilization and protection. USAID programs have provided care and treatment services for well over 100,000 SGBV survivors, including access to medical care, counseling and family mediation, social and economic reintegration support, as well as legal aid. Community awareness activities educate and mobilize local communities, including traditional leaders and women’s groups, to promote women’s rights, acceptance of rape survivors, protection of the whole community, and outreach about available services through local providers. USAID Democracy and Governance programs seek to fight impunity through national-level legal reforms (e.g. adoption of the 2006 Law Against SGBV and reform of the Family Code), advocacy, and legal services to survivors, including promotion of rights, case preparation and access to mobile courts. Health programs aim to improve medical treatment and prevention services for women and children. Education programs seek to address school-related SGBV.

USAID Social Protection

Cooperazione Internazionale (COOPI)
Program for Psychosocial Support and Reintegration of Survivors of Sexual and Gender-Based Violence in Eastern DRC
Location: Ituri District, Orientale Province and Maniema Province
Funding: $4,945,045 (December 15, 2008 – December 14, 2011)

This program targets 24,000 SGBV survivors by providing medical, psychosocial, socio-economic, and legal services, as appropriate.

International Rescue Committee
ESPOIR: Ending Sexual Violence by Promoting Opportunities and Individual Rights Location: North and South Kivu Provinces
Funding: $7,000,000 (September 17, 2009 – September 30, 2012)

This program targets 14,500 SGBV survivors by providing medical, psychosocial, socio-economic, and legal services, as appropriate.

UNICEF (COOPI is the implementing partner)
Program for Assistance and Reintegration of Abducted Girls and Boys and other Gender based Violence Survivors
Location: Ituri District, Orientale Province
Funding: $3,261,644 (July 20, 2006 – January 29, 2012)

This program assists girls and boys formerly associated with armed groups, many of whom are affected by SGBV, with social and economic reintegration.

Interchurch Medical Assistance, Inc (IMA) — South Kivu, North Kivu, Orientale, and Maniema
USHINDI: Overcoming Sexual & Gender-Based Violence in Eastern Congo
Funding: $16,098,076 (July 14, 2010 – July 13, 2015)

International Medical Corps (IMC) — South Kivu, North Kivu, and Maniema
CASE: Care, Access, Safety & Empowerment Program in Eastern Congo
Funding: $16,100,000 (July 14, 2010 – July 13, 2015)

This program creates a holistic approach integrating timely and quality psychosocial, medical, legal and economic activities to support survivors of SGBV.

International Medical Corps (IMC) — South Kivu, North Kivu, and Maniema, plus Kisangani
BCC: “Bienvenue aux Changements dans la Communauté” (Behavior Change Communication)
Funding: $9,999,761 (September 29, 2010 – September 28, 2015)

USAID Democracy and Governance

DPK Consulting
Program for Promoting and Strengthening Justice
Location: Kinshasa, South Kivu, Katanga, Bandundu, Maniema
Funding: $13,495,528 (September 30, 2008 – September 29, 2011)

This program works with the Ministry of Justice, the High Council of Magistrates and local NGOs to increase access to justice, develop a national plan for mobile courts, train court personnel, decrease corruption through better human resource, financial and material management systems, and monitor delivery of court services.

International Organization for Migration—Nationwide (PLANNED)
Supporting the efforts of the Government of DRC to combat human trafficking
Funding: $400,000 (September 2010 – September 2012)

USAID Education

Academy for Educational Development— Katanga
C-Change addressing School Related Gender Based Violence Project
Funding: $2,200,000 (August 2010 – September 2012)

USAID Health

Engender Health
Fistula Care—Support to Panzi Hospital and Heal Africa Hospital
Location: North and South Kivu Provinces
Funding: $1,400,000 (Fiscal Year 2010 –2011)

The goal of the program is to reduce the incidence of obstetric and traumatic fistula. The program trains doctors and health care providers in fistula repair and emergency obstetric care, as well as provide necessary equipment to increase the capacity of Panzi and Heal Africa hospitals to provide quality fistula treatment, care, and support. Fistula is a challenge faced by women across the country because of the lack of access to emergency obstetric care. Building on the current successes, we will be expanding services to five new sites (in the East as well as Kinshasa).

Management Sciences for Health
Integrated Primary Healthcare Project
Location: Kasai Occidental, Kasai Oriental, Katanga, South Kivu
Funding: $139,000,000 (October 2010 – September 2015)

This project follows on to USAID/DRC’s flagship Primary Health Care (PHC) project, representing nearly 70 percent of its PHC direct service portfolio, serving an estimated population of more than eleven million Congolese through more than 1,480 health facilities in 80 widely dispersed and fragile health zones. One of the goals of the project is to provide an expanded packet of key interventions, which includes post rape care.

USAID Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance
Since 2001, USAID/OFDA has incorporated treatment for SGBV survivors into its emergency health projects in North and South Kivu. Medical treatment for survivors includes treatment at local clinics to the extent possible, and referral to larger hospitals (Heal Africa and Panzi) when necessary for complications such as fistula. For referrals, NGOs arrange for transportation and also accompany survivors to the facility. Psychosocial support is also provided to survivors at clinics or at the community level through local community-based organizations (CBOs). An important aspect of the SGBV component of these programs is sensitization at the community level. Sessions are conducted for both men and women through local CBOs or women's groups, and cover topics including the harmful effects of SGBV, and acceptance of survivors back into the community.

Merlin—North Kivu
Emergency Health Assistance to IDPs, host communities and returnees
Funding: $2,753,539 (July 2010 – April 2011)

UNICEF—Orientale
Child Protection and Reunification
Funding: $750,000 (August 2010 – July 2011)

International Medical Corps—North Kivu
Emergency Health Assistance to IDPs, host communities and returnees in Walikale
Funding: $2,299,686 (July 2010 – April 2011)

Save the Children (UK)—North Kivu
Addressing emergency primary health needs in Masisi territory of North Kivu Province
Funding: $800,000 (June 2010 – May 2011)

OFDA also contributed $750,000 towards a USAID Mission award to IRC entitled ESPOIR: Ending Sexual Violence by Promoting Opportunities and Individual Rights in North and South Kivu Provinces.

U.S. Department of State Programs

The Department of State has taken an active role in addressing SGBV in the DRC through a variety of programs funded by the Bureau for Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor (DRL), the Bureau for Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM), the Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs (INL), the Bureau of African Affairs (AF), the Bureau of International Organization Affairs (IO), the Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator (S/GAC), the Office of War Crimes Issues (S/WCI), and the Office of Global Women’s Issues (S/GWI),

DRL-supported projects promote human rights, provide legal services to GBV survivors, and build the capacity of local NGOs, justice sector and law enforcement personnel, and the media. PRM supports multilateral partners UNHCR and ICRC, as well as NGO prevention and response activities for refugee returnee populations and internally displaced persons (IDPs), many of whom are SGBV survivors. PRM is in the process of finalizing a $2 million contribution to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights to augment personnel in the Joint Protection Teams, as well as $1 million to the UN Office of Project Services for rapid road rehabilitation in North and South Kivu and Ituri Provinces. IO, working with S/WCI, has also provided $100,000 to the UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO) Joint Human Rights Office to assist with the Mission’s witness protection efforts for high profile cases. Embassy Kinshasa’s Democracy and Human Rights Fund provides small grants on an annual basis to local organizations that provide economic and legal support to SGBV survivors. The Embassy’s public affairs section has also sponsored a series of SGBV-focused workshops and music recordings.

Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor

American Bar Association (ABA)
Developing Local Capacity to Investigate Cases of Mass Violence and Rape in the DRC,
North Kivu Province
Funding: $1,309,439 (September 2009 - September 2011)

The overarching goal of ABA’s program in the DRC is to build the capacity of Congolese justice sector actors and local leaders living in the North Kivu province to investigate cases of mass violence and sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV). The project will increase the technical capacity of the Congolese police to uncover, analyze, and catalog forensic evidence from mass graves and investigate SGBV crimes; train local leaders in how to preserve evidence and aid the authorities in their investigations; provide legal and psychological counseling for victims living in remote areas via a mobile aid unit; educate the public on efforts to aid victims; and increase coordination among stakeholders such as judicial and law enforcement officials through the establishment of a multi-disciplinary working group to share lessons learned and best practices.

Bureau for Population, Refugees, and Migration

Center for Victims of Torture
Mental Health Assistance and Gender Based Violence response and referral programs
Location: Northern Katanga Province
Funding: $897,285 in FY 2008; $1,100,000 in FY 2009; $1,008,391 in FY2010 (activities ongoing through September 2011)

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
Location: Countrywide
Funding: $19,900,000 in FY 2010 (activities ongoing)

This funding supports refugee repatriation as well as an IDP Protection and Assistance Program and enhanced protection staffing, a portion of these programs focus on SGBV prevention and response.

International Committee of the Red Cross
Location: Countrywide
Funding: $13,000,000 in FY 2010 (activities ongoing)

This funding supports ICRC activities in the DRC, including SGBV prevention and response through medical, psychosocial and legal support.

United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights
Location: Eastern DRC
Funding: $2,000,000 in FY2010 (activities ongoing)

This project enhances the protection capacity of the Joint Human Rights Office including to prevent and respond to SGBV.

UN Office for Project Services (UNOPS)
Rapid Infrastructure Rehabilitation for Protection and Humanitarian Access
Location: Eastern DRC
Funding; $1,000,000 in FY2010 (activities ongoing)

Catholic Relief Services
Protecting Communities from Violence through Improved Communication
Location: Orientale and Kivus
Funding: $1,673,860 in FY2010 (activities ongoing through September 2011)

Norwegian Refugee Council
Primary Education in Areas of Refugee Return (including GBV prevention)
Location: South Kivu
Funding: $696,006 in FY2010 (activities ongoing through September 2011)

Women for Women International
Empowering Women Survivors of War in Eastern DRC
Location: South Kivu
Funding: $411,871 (January 2011 – January 2012)

Search for Common Ground
Promoting Attitudes and Sharing Knowledge to Prevent SGBV in DRC Return Zones
Location: South Kivu and Katanga
Funding: $359,491 (February 2011 – February 2012)

Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs

International Organization for Migration (IOM)
Capacity Building of the Congolese National Police (PNC): Fight Against SGBV
Location: Ituri District, Orientale Province
Funding: $2,930,000 (Sep 2010 – Apr 2011)

IOM works with MONUSCO to provide specialized training for 30 SGBV trainers, 150 judicial police officers, and 500 rank-and-file officers within the National Congolese Police on conducting SGBV investigations, evidence handling, and victim sensitization. The project will also support the coordination and deployment of SGBV policing units in all five territories of Ituri District. This will be accomplished through the construction and equipping of a minimum of 22 police stations and a police training center to allow the Congolese Police to operate out of more appropriate and efficient infrastructures and better protect civilians.

American Bar Association
Stem Gender-Based Violence and End Impunity in the Democratic Republic of the Congo Location: Location: North Kivu Province
Funding: $1,000,000 (2009 – September 30, 2011)

The program provides legal aid for survivors of SGBV in North Kivu Province through a clinic housed in Heal Africa, a Goma-based hospital that receives SGBV survivors; it also provides training to lawyers, police, prosecutors, and judges to develop their capacity to investigate, prosecute, and adjudicate SGBV cases.

Bureau for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs & Office of War Crimes Issues
Capacity building of the Congolese justice system through MONUSCO’s Prosecution Support Cells
Location: throughout DRC, focused on North and South Kivu
Funding: approximately $500,000 (August 2011 – November 2011)

Funding will be used to assist the Congolese justice system to investigate and prosecute cases of conflict-related rape and other serious crimes, in conjunction with MONUSCO’s Prosecution Support Cells (PSCs). Funding will be used to support the PSCs working with their Congolese judicial counterparts and in coordination with MONUSCO’s Joint Human Rights Office to ensure they have adequate means and knowledge to complete investigations and prosecutions. This could include, for example: ensuring there are secure offices and premises; short-term support for case logistics and development; and providing training and expertise on preventative protective measures.

Office of War Crimes Issues (host office TBD)
Support GDRC in establishing specialized mixed chambers
Location: Kinshasa / chambers likely to focus on Kivus
Funding: approximately $500,000 (February 2011 – April 2011)

Funding will be used to assist the GDRC in developing (e.g., planning, drafting legislation, and facilitating dialogue) the proposed specialized mixed judicial chambers, which would include Congolese and international judicial personnel, and serve as a forum within the DRC to try major violators of international humanitarian law.

Bureau of International Organization Affairs, working with Office of War Crimes Issues
UN Organization Stabilization Mission in the DRC (MONUSCO) Joint Human Rights Office (JHRO)
Location: Kinshasa
Funding: $100,000

The program, implemented by JHRO, aims to provide basic training for judicial personnel on preventative protection measures, as well as basic protection measures for victims, witnesses and other at-risk persons involved in cases against high-ranking FARDC officers (e.g., FARDC5 investigations/trials, other perpetrators named by the State Department’s Human Rights Report, the Joint Office for Human Rights, and Human Rights Watch).

Secretary’s Office of Global Women’s Issues

Rama-Levina Foundation
Location: South Kivu
Funding: $99,000 (September 2010 – February 2012)

This program will advance the health, economic, and social well-being of women and girl survivors of sexual violence in rural villages by providing training to build the capacity of rural health care providers to assist SGBV survivors; develop culturally appropriate mediation tools for community leaders and health practitioners to raise awareness of sexual violence and facilitate survivors’ reintegration in their families and communities; and provide microfinance loans, in the form of pigs, to improve rural women’s economic stability.

Bureau of African Affairs

Defense International Institute of Legal Studies (DIILS)
Sex Crimes Investigation Training for Judicial Police Inspectors and Prosecuting Magistrates of the Armed Forces of the Democratic Republic of Congo (FARDC); and Commanders’ Seminar on Their Role in Ending Impunity and Supporting the Military Justice System
Location: Kinshasa and Provincial Capitals
Funding: $5,300,000 (January 2009 – December 2011)

Military justice and human rights training provided to FARDC military justice personnel; FARDC commanders throughout the DRC; participants in MONUSCO’s Integration Security Sector Reform Training Program; and for all U.S. government military training program participants. All training programs include modules on SGBV. Provide targeted training and mentoring to FARDC’s military justice system personnel to investigate, prosecute and adjudicate SGBV.

XL Associates
Military Justice Advisor to MONUSCO’s Prosecution Support Cells
Location: Eastern DRC and Kinshasa
Funding: $360,000 (July 2010 – July 2011)

The military justice advisor supports FARDC military justice authorities participating in the MONUSCO’s Prosecution Support Cells (PSC) to combat impunity for offenses by the FARDC in the Eastern DRC. The advisor also acts as a mentor to assist the Congolese judicial police investigators and magistrates in their investigations and prosecutions of human rights violators.

Camber Corporation/AECOM
Leadership, Professionalization, Human Rights, and Civil Military Operations Training to FARDC Mid-Grade and Junior Officers
Location: Kinshasa
Funding: $6,400,000 (August 2008 – August 2011)

Training provided to FARDC officers at the company, battalion, brigade and senior level on leadership, command and control, professional staff procedures, human rights, and civil- military operations. Inclusion of human rights in leadership and staff planning is an important part of this training that also contributes to the professional military ethic.

FARDC Light Infantry Battalion Training Program
Location: Kisangani
Specialized SGBV training was conducted using a tailored program of instruction developed by a U.S. Africa Command social scientist.

Department of Defense, U.S. Africa Command
Professional Military Education
Using the International Military Education and Training (IMET) program, DOD is assisting the FARDC at all levels in understanding and adopting a professional military ethic that reflexively sees the value in supporting human rights and ending impunity for SGBV and other violations thereof..

U.S. Department of Defense Programs

U.S. Africa Command has a small but growing commitment to assist in the prevention of SGBV and to help survivors. In addition to implementing the State-funded activities listed above, beginning in FY 2010, DOD funds are being committed to provide infrastructure upgrades to facilities used by other service providers, to conduct research on SGBV, to develop training modules for use of the military, and potentially in future years to conduct SGBV prevention training with civilians as well as militaries.

Overseas Humanitarian, Disaster, and Civic Aid
Renovating facilities that support programs for survivors of SGBV
Location: Kinshasa and Eastern DRC
Funding: $1 million in FY 2010; proposed $1-2 million in FY 2011 and FY 2012

This project provides refurbishments or new construction of facilities that support survivors of SGBV and have the capability to provide psycho-social counseling, SGBV prevention education, family planning, HIV/AIDS outreach, legal services, and vocational training. Three facilities (valued at approximately $650,000) will be built in Kinshasa and South Kivu starting end of FY 2010. The Command is currently reviewing a range of additional project possibilities in North and South Kivu for FY 2011 and FY 2012.

Cahi Elementary School
Location: Bukavu
Dates: Early February 2011(210 days from ground breaking).
Funding: $157,353.00 paid in installments as work progresses.

Kiski Hospital
Location: Walungu
Dates: Undetermined.
Funding: Waiting for rebidding process.

Mudishi Women’s Maternity Hospital
Location: Kinshasa
Dates: Imminent 2011.
Funding: Approx $ 200,000.00.

Department of Defense, U.S. Africa Command

Professional Military Education
Using the International Military Education and Training (IMET) program, DoD is assisting the FARDC at all levels in understanding and adopting a professional military ethic that reflexively sees the value in supporting human rights and ending impunity for SGBV and other violations thereof.

Defense HIV/AIDS Prevention Program
DoD addresses the issues of treatment and reporting of SGBV for those who are tested for HIV/AIDS.

President’s Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief (PEPFAR)
Interagency programming through USAID, Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Department of Defense (DOD)

Location: Kinshasa, Kisangani
Funding: $5,000,000 for FY2011; anticipated $5,000,000 in FY2012 and $5,000,000 in FY 2013

In 2010, DRC was selected as one of three PEPFAR programs to receive additional funding to scale up HIV-services specific to the needs of SGBV survivors. This is a 3-year initiative, with $5 of the total $15 million already in-country. Geographic targeting will focus on PEPFAR’s strategic advantage in Kinshasa and Kisangani, with the exception of a PEPFAR supported national assessment on supply chain management of HIV commodities—to include those specific to post-rape care. Results of the assessment are expected in July 2011, and will be used help guide future decisions on procurement and geographic targeting.



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