Project SAFE: supporting women’s access to services

On the initiative of AVSI Haiti and with the financial support of the Spanish, the municipalities of Port-au-Prince and Cité Soleil collaborate to support women and girls’ access to assistance services in the metropolitan areas of Port-au-Prince.

Protection is a humanitarian priority in Haiti, where violence, especially against women and girls, is widespread. Spanish cooperation, through its local partners and AVSI, is contributing to improving access to quality healthcare for Haitian women.

The "International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women" and the "16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence" coincided with a series of activities under the SAFE project. These activities include orientation and referral of cases to assistance services, psychological support and counseling, and psychosocial activities.

Humanitarian protection first

A new project in the humanitarian sector was launched in Port-au-Prince on 1 July 2023 to combat gender-based violence. SAFE: Supportons l’Accès des Femmes aux Services  (Supporting Women's Access to Services), the project is funded by the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation (AECID) with a budget of €500,096.30. The project end June 30, 2024.

The metropolitan areas of Port-au-Prince continue to witness abuses and human rights violations.

AVSI's monitoring for the fourth quarter of 2022 reports a total of 2,601 cases of severe violence, including 1,473 with extremely urgent humanitarian needs and 187 civilians with gunshot wounds.

The project aims to address this chaotic context by improving access and availability of assistance services for women and girls who have survived gender-based violence in the metropolitan area of Port-au-Prince, specifically in the communities of Cité Soleil, La Saline, and Martissant.

Intervention Strategy

The proposed protective action aligns with the objectives of the 2019-2026 Humanitarian Action Strategy of the Spanish Cooperation, aiming to provide a humanitarian response based on humanitarian principles and aligned with international goals. The project focuses on saving and protecting human lives, alleviating suffering, and preserving human dignity during and after humanitarian crises.

The Spanish cooperation in Haiti, through its partners, consistently contributes to promoting gender equality. Many significant results corresponding to the SAFE project align with the "International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women" and the "16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence."

Results and Impact

The project has outlined a series of results to measure its impact. The first expected result is to provide immediate, effective, and quality medical assistance for the gynecological needs of women and girls, including survivors of gender-based violence. Activities include establishing agreements with healthcare centers, recruiting a mobile team for identification and assistance, mobile clinic consultations, and field testing a new humanitarian response mechanism.

The second expected result focuses on reporting and referral of medical emergency cases, temporary shelter services, and psychosocial and psychological support to reduce and combat gender-based violence in emergency situations. Planned activities include case referral and reporting, psychological assistance, and psychosocial activities.

The SAFE project targets the municipality of Port-au-Prince, including the neighborhoods of La Saline (1st district) and Martissant (3rd district), as well as the municipality of Cité Soleil. The project aims to provide 3,000 survivors of gender-based violence with access to mobile clinics, with 500 accessing violence prevention and response services and 1,500 benefiting from psychosocial support services.

Closing the 16 Days of Activism Campaign Workshop

On Monday, December 11, a successful brainstorming workshop on gender-based violence took place, involving 26 participants from the municipality of Cité Soleil. The main objective was to reflect on ways to protect women and girls from the negative impacts of armed conflicts.

Conducted by two psychologists from AVSI, the workshop divided participants into three discussion groups, each given 45 minutes to reflect on one of the four proposed themes and answer related questions. This exchange of ideas provided an opportunity for collective reflection on effectively combating gender-based violence.

This gender-based violence workshop highlights AVSI's commitment to combating this issue within the municipality of Cité Soleil. It is part of an awareness and prevention campaign to ensure safe and dignified environments, aligning with the 16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence.

In its commitment to development assistance, Spanish cooperation continues to strengthen its activities in Haiti in the humanitarian and gender sectors.

SAFE is an extremely important project that enhances collaboration between local and international actors to provide assistance to survivors of gender-based violence in the metropolitan area of Port-au-Prince. Implemented by AVSI, the project represents a significant step in improving the living conditions, protection, and empowerment of women and girls in Haiti.