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As part of its support package to curb the impact of gender based violence (GBV) within internally displaced person’s (IDPs) camps, host communities and otherwise, UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund and key actors for GBV signed an information sharing protocol on the GBV information management system (GBVIMS). The ceremony which took place today in Abuja, sets out the guiding principles for the ethical collection and sharing of GBV incident data to improve targeting and service provision.

The incidence of GBV is growing astronomical with the activities of the insurgency in the North East. From forced and early marriages to the physical, mental or sexual assault on a woman, nearly 3 in 10 Nigerian women have experienced physical violence by age 15 (NDHS 2013).These figures are remarkably different in the North East, with a GBV prevalent rate of 30% and sexual violence at 16%. Regardless of the social context that GBV occurs, it is usually shrouded in silence and under reported because of the stigma that may occur.

Behind the numbers are real stories of women and girls, whose rights have been violated, lives have been altered and who ultimately need urgent support. However, despite commitments by development actors, many women and girls have inadequate or no access to the range of supports and services that can protect them, assist them in keeping them safe and support them to address the short and long term consequences of experience various forms of violence. The Gender-Based Violence Information Management System (GBVIMS) is a multi-faceted initiative to harmonize data collection on SGBV in humanitarian settings, to provide a simple system for SGBV project managers to collect and analyze their data, and to enable the safe and ethical sharing of reported SGBV incident data. The Information Sharing Protocol of GBVIMS signed today, will improve humanitarian actors' ability to obtain a reliable picture of reported SGBV incidents and increase the utility of collected data to inform programme decisions for effective SGBV prevention and survivor care said Ratidzai Ndhlovu the UNFPA Representative.

To facilitate this process, UNFPA, as the lead agency for GBV prevention and response in humanitarian in Nigeria, in partnership with USAID donated and distributed equipment worth about $35,000 to Data Gathering Organizations (DGOs). The equipment will enable timely and effective data gathering and sharing mechanism for an improved inter-agency coordination, gap identification and prioritization of actions to meet the needs of the vulnerable group – women and girls.