Grant requests to aid torture victims on the rise, UN reports

Grant requests to aid torture victims on the rise, UN reports

Grant requests in 2001 to a United Nations trust fund for victims of torture totalled $1 million more than last year and will likely increase by the same amount next year, according to a new report released today at UN Headquarters in New York.

In his report on the UN Voluntary Fund for the Victims of Torture, Secretary-General Kofi Annan says that total grant requests have increased by at least $1 million each year over the past few years and will likely amount to about $12 million in 2002.

The Fund currently stands at $8 million, up $1 million from last year, but far short of the more than $11 million requested by groups aiding torture victims and their families.

The Fund receives voluntary contributions from governments, non-governmental organizations and individuals that are then distributed as humanitarian, legal and financial aid to torture victims and their relatives.

This year, the Fund disbursed grants to projects throughout the world that provided medical, psychological, economic, social or legal assistance or other forms of direct humanitarian aid. A few grants were also given to training programmes for health-care professionals and others to improve their knowledge of specialized assistance to victims of torture.

The report also lists the contributors to the Fund as well as the organizations that received grants.