Meeting of SAARC project implementing agencies’ held

Kathmandu, November 17

Toll Free Helpline for Women and Children in SAARC Member States and Implementing Agencies of the SAARC Development Fund funded project met in Thimphu of Bhutan for their Project Inception Meeting from November 16 to 17.

During the meeting, the implementing agencies were briefed on SDF’s policies, procedures and reporting requirements, and proposed changes to the project documents since its approval.  The meeting also discussed the sustainability and revenue generation model of the project; result-based log frame/ monitoring and evaluation; future course of action for effective implementation of the project and sharing of best practices; and strategies to enhance collaboration among SAARC countries, stated a press release issued by SDF.

The USD four million project, Toll Free Helpline for Women and Children in SAARC Member States will be implemented in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka during the first phase and Bhutan, Pakistan and Maldives will join this project in the second phase. The project aims to benefit women and children of the SAARC region, the release stated.

The focus areas of the project are to strengthen the national helpline system in SAARC member states for the protection of the rights of women and children, strengthen linkages with other helplines and hotlines through networking, referral and follow up mechanism, increase access of women and children to helpline services through coordinated and effective interventions and improve coordination between SAARC member states especially on issues of cross-border trafficking.

Finalisation of sustainability plan/transfer of technical knowledge, annual work plan and log frames by the implementing agencies are the major outcomes of the meeting, it said.

“The helplines is the direct operationalisation of the SAARC Convention on Preventing and Combating Trafficking in Women and Children. The intra-country mechanisms will bring convergence to the efforts of the eight member states to prevent and combat trafficking of women and children,”  Sunil Motiwal, CEO, SDF said in the release.