Women and girls participate in and benefit from socio-economic recovery opportunities in the context of peace and resilience-building
68,768 people, 98% of which are women and girls, comprised of Internally Displaced Persons, returnees, refugees, ethnic minority groups, elders, victims of crises, mothers, girls-mothers and youth grouped in around 3833 functional agriculture-based Income Generative Initiatives (IGI), have increased their production, modernized their economic activities and benefited from socioeconomic opportunities. The initiatives include 311 new cooperatives, 833 “Haguruka ! Standing Together”, 84 Village Savings and Loans Associations in agribusiness (rice, vegetables, maize, fruits, and palm oil), handicraft, and sewing.. The groups have accessto tailored services such as capacity building on Cooperative management, new technologies, business planning, marketing, leadership, financial literacy and Information and Communication Technology (ICT) skills that have enabled them to work across the value chain (production, aggregation, and marketing) and participate in E-commerce and cross-border trade. The integration of ICT skills through the establishment of a multimedia center equipped with computers, others digital material, and a digital platform has allowed women to gain skills to monitor the activities of their IGIs and to benefit from online trade. This has been accomplished through a total of 22 interventions with 22 partners from Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), the private sector, and government, by means of cooperatives, apprenticeship schemes and nutritional rehabilitation, Village Savings and Loans Associations (VSLAs), entrepreneurship, conflict resolution, and advocacy addressing the needs of women and girl including COVID-19 prevention measures. 27 Community Development Plans have integrated gender dimensions, with particular attention to women’s needs in 24 vulnerable communes, owing to advocacy activities led by women peace mediators that resulted in the signature of 19 charters (7 at commune level and 12 at level of the hills) for collaboration and common commitment between women peace mediators, members of hill-level community development groups, and mixed security committees to ensure follow-up of the implementation of communal plans. UN Women has also provided technical and financial support to the Ministry of National Solidarity, Social Affairs, Human Rights and Gender in the elaboration of the Women’s Eonomic Group’s Annual Work Plan, and in the organisation of Rural Women’s Day and of the 16 days of activism. Regarding women access to credit, 21 staff from Microfinance institutions and from the Youth Investment Bank have improved their knowledge on gender equality in policy and services, including on financing decisions and drafted strategies for women’s empowerment. To date 15 microfinance institutions and banks have been linked to 230 cooperatives and 120 IGIs through workshops with the support of local CSO partners Kaz’o’zah Keza and SOJPAEn the provinces of Ruyigi, Bujumbura rurale, Gitega, Muyinga, and Kirundo. The Savings and Credit Cooperative, COOPEC, provided credit to the value of 93, 000 USD along with technical support to 56 solidarity groups composed of 909 members including 718 women and 191 men, which enables women to make significant contributions to household incomee. On nutrition, 5 community-based nutrition programs have been designed and allowed 3,450 households composed of 24,150 people (19,803 women and girls and 4,387 men and boys including pregnant women, girl-mothers, nursing mothers, women head of households, hill-level chiefs, mamans lumières, agricultural monitoring and community health agents) to improve their nutritional status, as well as 4,257 children under 5 in the provinces of Muramvya, Gitega, Shombo, Gasorwe, Karusi, Kirundo and Muyinga. This was achieved through the training of trainers, the high level forum organized in collaboration with the Organization of African First Ladies for Development, UNICEF, UNFPA, WFP, the Word bank and CSO partners (Saemaul, Caritas and FVS), for 1,373 people (97% women leaders, “maman lumières”, mediators, and 3% men from administration, community, youth and religious leaders) on nutrition, vegetable preservation (by lacto-fermentation) and the use of the Positive Masculinity approach engaging men that have committed themselves to support women’s empowerment in their nutrition-related roles for the improved nutrition of Burundians. A song and video clip, and modules have also been produced and disseminated as part of a sensitization exercise. 48,569 members (25,453 women and girls and 7,237 men and boys) of Solidarity Groups and 11,545 women and 4,617 men who are displaced, returnees and from host communities have enhanced awareness on general health and COVID-19 prevention measures through sensitization activities, and have better means to prevent COVID-19 and common infections through medical assistance (in the form of the provision of basic medicines, COVID prevention kits, and free consultations) a delivered S by the Association of Burundian Women Doctors, with UN Women and WHO’s support.