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launch of the handbook 2022-08-21 15The Disaster Management Centre (DMC) with the technical assistance of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), Sri Lanka and the financial support of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Australia (DFAT) launched the first handbook on Gender, Sexual and Gender Based Violence in Disasters on 19th August 2022.

The handbook provides practical guidance to policymakers, response staff of the Disaster Management Centre and community groups to plan, coordinate, implement, monitor and evaluate essential actions for a gender equitable disaster response. This book contributes to the implementation of the Policy Framework and National Plan of Action to address Sexual and Gender based Violence (SGBV) in Sri Lanka, initiated by the Ministry of Women, Child Affairs and Social Empowerment.

The handbook was developed through a series of consultations with key government stakeholders and other development partners to ensure that, key concerns relevant to gender based violence in disasters is properly addressed. Mr. Kunle Adeniyi, Representative for Sri Lanka and the Maldives, United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) expressing his views on the launch “The current socio-economic and political crisis in Sri Lanka has caused a negative impact on social and gender equality.”

Maj. Gen. Sudantha Ranasinghe, Director General, Disaster Management Centre highlighted the importance of integrating prevention of GBV in disaster management. “Gender equality and empowerment of women and girls are at the very core of principle of effective disaster response. It is our primary duty to understand the specific needs, capacities and priorities of women and girls, boys and men and integrate this understanding throughout the disaster management programme cycle. As the leading agency for disaster management in Sri Lanka, the Disaster Management Centre (DMC) is mandated with the responsibility of implementing and coordinating national and sub-national level programmes, for reducing the risk of disasters with the participation of all relevant stakeholders. The handbook on “Gender, Sexual and Gender-Based Violence in Disasters”, is an important and useful resource, which will help the stakeholders involved in managing disasters to build on their commitments to gender equality and on women and girls in humanitarian action, with the aim of delivering more effective, rights based programming”.

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