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Central African Republic, Bangui, pharmacy, gender violence, women
AFD has joined forces with Fondation Pierre Fabre to establish a comprehensive care center for female victims of violence in Bangui, Central African Republic. The partnership was forged at a Paris conference on November 28, 2019. Among those present was Doctor Denis Mukwege, gynecologist and human rights activist, who won last year’s Nobel Peace Prize for his work with victims of sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Whether in full-scale war or internecine conflicts, women bear the heaviest burden. In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the Central African Republic (CAR), sexual violence is wielded as a weapon to terrorize communities and destroy their social fabric. 

Rape and sexual slavery are routinely practiced by armed groups with an ever-increasing number of victims, leading over time to the breakdown of family and social models. For affected women, access to essential services and legal intervention is limited; support for victims, virtually non-existent. And with so many perpetrators going unpunished, the violence spreads. 

The 4 Pillars

To combat this phenomenon, Nobel Peace Prize laureate Dr. Denis Mukwege pioneered the 4-pillar “one-stop treatment center,” based on medical, psychological, legal, and socio-economic support. Since 2017, Fondation Pierre Fabre has worked with victims using this principle, at the rural hospital in Bulenga, DRC. 

In response to the continuing violence in CAR, Fondation Pierre Fabre, the Panzi Foundation DRC, the Dr. Denis Mukwege Foundation, and Institut francophone pour la justice et la démocratie (French institute for justice and democracy) have teamed up again, with the financial support of AFD. 

The goal is to replicate Dr. Mukwege’s comprehensive care model in Bangui, at Hôpital de l’Amitié and with l’Association des femmes juristes de Centrafrique —the Central African association of women lawyers. 

See also: Nobel Peace Prize: Denis Mukwege, a doctor dedicated to helping victims of sexual violence

The four-year program will help victims of sexual and gender-based violence, providing them with access to comprehensive quality care, using a coordinated and holistic approach at the “one-stop treatment center” in Bangui.

This €4.2 million program will be financed by AFD (€3 million) and Fondation Pierre Fabre (€1.2 million). The latter will also contribute its medical and scientific expertise, and oversee the administrative and financial management of the program. 

This program marks an important step for Fondation Pierre Fabre in its commitment to support Dr. Mukwege and serve the most vulnerable communities. It will also draw on the complementary areas of expertise of French, Congolese, and Central African partners with a common goal of providing victims of sexual and gender-based violence with the care and multidisciplinary support they need to rebuild their lives.

“This marks an important step in the commitment of Fondation Pierre Fabre, along with Dr. Mukwege, to serving the most vulnerable. The program will rely on the complementary skills of French, Congolese and Central African partners with the common goal of providing victims of sexual violence and gender-based violence in Central Africa, with care and multidisciplinary support that will enable them to recover.” 

- Béatrice Garrette, Executive Director of Fondation Pierre Fabre