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Canada supports vulnerable groups in Samoa

The Canadian government has awarded a CA$45,000 ($88,272) grant to fund services for women, children and vulnerable groups impacted by gender-based violence during the COVID-19 global pandemic.

The funding comes from the New Zealand High Commission in Wellington, New Zealand through its Canada Fund for Local Initiative, and will used to fund a six-month project called “Gender-Based Violence Responsive Services for Women, Children and Vulnerable Groups in the context of COVID-19” run by the Samoa Victim Support Group.

S.V.S.G. President, Siliniu Lina Chang, said the support of local and international partners is critical to her organisation’s ability to scale up their delivery of gender-based violence responsive services to the most vulnerable groups amidst the global pandemic.

She said the S.V.S.G. welcomes the working partnership with the High Commission of Canada in New Zealand to provide such an important service.

Wellington-based Counsellor and Acting High Commissioner for Canada, Nicolas Sabourin, said the Canada Fund for Local Initiative is keen to work with the S.V.S.G. again in order to support Samoa’s vulnerable population.

“We look forward to working with S.V.S.G. on this project over the coming year,” he said.

The aim of the project is to strengthen the virtual response mechanism within the S.V.S.G. to ensure continued successful intervention against G.B.V. and the provision of support services to the most-at-risk population.

The S.V.S.G. provides frontline services through the operation of a 24-hour toll free Helpline for women, children and those seeking help during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Alongside the Helpline, the new project will also enhance its capacity through social media and email correspondence, helping to mitigate the resource and staff pressures currently faced by the not-for-profit organisation.

The Canadian High Commission has previously provided support to the S.V.S.G. In 2011, the diplomatic mission assisted with the compilation of legal information brochures; supporting the livelihood training of unemployed women survivors of violence with disabilities in 2014; and more recently, supporting the income generation activities of self-employed Nofotane women in 2018.

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