United States Supports Women Improve Peace and Security in Bougainville

For Immediate Release

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The United States is helping Bougainville Women improve peace and security. The Embassy announced the award of four grants totaling K2.5 million to local women’s organizations. The grants are part of the United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID) two-year Women Peace Building Initiative (WPBI), implemented by Counterpart International (CI).

The project works with civil society organizations in the Autonomous Region of Bougainville (ARB) to raise awareness and increase understanding of women’s rights; provides treatment and counseling to ex-combatants and civilians; and offers support to survivors of gender based violence. Anticipated activities include training and mentoring support for community health workers in mental health referral and treatment, radio programming on women’s rights and gender issues affecting Bougainville, violence prevention trainings and awareness for men, women, youth, and community leaders, targeted gender-based violence community awareness activities, and women’s skill development trainings.

“Women are effective peacemakers, community leaders, and champions of civil and human rights,” said U.S. Ambassador Walter North. “We are pleased to work with them, the ARB government and other development partners.

The recipients of the grants are the Bougainville Women’s Federation in North Bougainville; the Tunaniya Open Learning Centre in Central Bougainville; the Buka General Hospital’s Family Support Centre and the Leitana Nehan Women’s Development Agency, both located in North Bougainville.

“These grants can help leaders and communities better understand the extent of mental illness and trauma and the impacts it is having on the people of Bougainville and what can be done to help“ said Sister Essah Barnabas, Coordinator of the Family Support Centre (FSC).

Through the WPBI project, USAID and CI have established collaborative relationships with stakeholders at multiple levels, including the ABG Division of Community Development; the Women, Peace, and Security Technical Working Group; the Family and Sexual Violence Technical Working Group; and the Mental Health Steering group.



USAID assistance in the Pacific Islands helps communities adapt to the negative impacts of global climate change and environmental degradation; assists the government and civil society of Papua New Guinea (PNG) expand HIV prevention, care and treatment models; strengthens women, peace and security in PNG; supports elections in Fiji; and provides disaster mitigation, relief and reconstruction in Federal States of Micronesia and Republic of Marshall Islands. For more information about USAID programs in the Pacific Islands, visit http://www.usaid.gov/pacificislands.

About Counterpart International

Counterpart International is a global development organization that partners with local organizations - formal and informal - to build inclusive, sustainable communities in which their people thrive. For nearly 50 years, Counterpart International has been working in partnership with communities in need to address complex problems related to economic development, nutrition and health, humanitarian assistance and strengthening civil society. To learn more and to donate go to www.counterpart.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.