Zambia and the European Union on Friday signed a €25m financing agreement meant to support the prevention of Sexual Gender Based Violence (SGBV).

European Union Ambassador Alessandro Mariani and Secretary to the Treasury Fredson Yamba, who signed the agreement, emphasized the importance of raising awareness on SGBV.

Ambassador Mariani said there was need for a mindset change on SGBV issues and noted that fighting the vice could take a long time.

“What is clear is the need to focus on the change in terms of mind set mind set and increasing the access to support services. It doesn’t happen for one day to the other, it’s not like building a road, you say it’s going to take two years from now no, I’m sorry this is something that will require more time and because of that it also requires determination from all of us, we don’t have to relax simply the results are not coming the way they are,” said Ambassador Mariani.

Meanwhile, Ministry of Gender Permanent Secretary Stella Ndlovu said the program would centre on Luapula and Northern Provinces which had the worst SGBV statistics.

“This program which focuses on Northern and Luapula provinces could not have come at an optune time than now when the statistics show that these two provinces are worse than the national average on various SGBV related indicators. It is gratifying to note that this program is very relevant to our national aspiration in vision 2030 and the senate national development plan strategy on reducing gender inequality which focuses on collaboration of a holistic approach in tackling the problem of the inequality gap by scaling up the women’s economic empowerment programs as well as affirmative action for women and promotion of girl child education,” said Ndlovu.