The European Union (EU) has given the government of Gabon 195 million FCFA (about US$390,000) to be used in helping children under social difficulties.
This assistance is intended to support the government’s project dubbed “Children Are the Future of Gabon, Covid-19 Will Not Make Them More Vulnerable”, which objective is to ameliorate the protection system of children in difficulties in the country during and after the health crisis.
Rosario Bento Pais, the EU Ambassador in Gabon, said the project “supports the most vulnerable children, 200 minors of whom are incarcerated in prisons in Libreville and Franceville as well as their families”.
Pai spoke last week during the occasion marking the International Day for the Prevention of Violence and Sexual Abuse Against Children which was celebrated this year under the theme “Let Us Construct a Future Without Violence Nor Sexual Abuse for the Young Actors of Change”.
It should be recalled here that several children are victims of abuse, exploitation, violence and discrimination in several communities in Gabon and other countries.
The national systems have not been doing much to protect them.
In Gabon, the reinforcement of systems for the protection of children are faced with several obstacles such as the weak application of special provisions concerning the allocation of resources, the heavy weight of cultural norms, the absence of coordination between the different sectors, a family climate which is not favourable to girls and the absence of adequate specialization by staff on the field, especially social workers and judicial police officers.
All these shortcomings have been further accentuated since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in Gabon March this year.