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Taina Camy works on gender-based violence issues for the UN’s population agency, UNFPA, and was on the frontline of helping vulnerable women and girls in the aftermath of the earthquake.

“Immediately after the earthquake UNFPA provided essential materials to women who had lost their homes and livelihoods like solar lamps and hygiene kits; it was an emergency situation. Now two months after the earthquake we have made a lot of progress and we are able to provide more services to women and girls who are in need, especially at the local level. 

These people are more vulnerable after an earthquake because they are no longer living at home but living alongside strangers and they don’t have access to basic social services such as: bathroom facilities. It’s difficult to listen to horrific stories of women who have been sexually abused. I spoke to an 89-year-old woman who had been raped by a group of young men and to the mother of a 3-year-old girl who also had been raped. 

Violence against women isn’t just the responsibility of our institutions, but also of all individual citizens. And I think we need to find a bit of humanity in these difficult times.”