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UN trust fund makes grants to initiatives against gender-based violence

UN trust fund makes grants to initiatives against gender-based violence

A United Nations trust fund today announced additional grants worth $10 million to 13 initiatives devoted to supporting local and national efforts to end violence against women and girls in 18 countries across the world.

The UN Trust Fund in Support of Actions to Eliminate Violence against Women (UN Trust Fund) said the new grants will complete its 14th grant-making cycle of 2009, delivering a total of $20.5 million for 26 projects in 33 countries and territories. Belarus, the Marshall Islands and Sri Lanka will be receiving the grants for the first time.

The Fund is the only multilateral grant-making mechanism exclusively devoted to supporting local and national efforts to end violence against women and girls. Established by the UN in 1996, the Fund is managed by the UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), which is part of the newly established UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), on behalf of the UN system.

“Violence against women destroys families, fractures communities and hampers progress on development goals,” said Inés Alberdi, UNIFEM Executive Director. “But it is a problem with a solution. Only by intensifying support and increasing investment to national and local efforts can we ensure women and girls are safe from violence and can lead healthy, productive lives.

“The UN Trust Fund’s ability to award these additional grants is a welcome sign towards translating pledges by government and international donors into resources to support action on the ground,” she added.

With the latest grants, the Fund will have supported 317 programmes in 124 countries and territories with more than $60 million to date. However, resources for the Fund fall drastically short of the vast demand.

For the current grant cycle alone, the Fund was able to meet less than 3 per cent of the demand. A total of 1,643 applications with grant requests totalling $857 million were received.

The Secretary-General’s campaign UNiTE to End Violence against Women includes a specific target of raising $100 million annually for the UN Trust Fund by 2015, in recognition of the urgent need to address violence against women and the Fund being a pioneering inter-agency initiative to advance progress on the ground to respond to this pervasive human rights violation.

The new UN Trust Fund grantees will spearhead pioneering approaches worldwide.

In Turkey, the Mother Child Education Foundation will model a highly innovative programme engaging fathers in the prevention of gender-based violence within the family, while the Jordanian Women’s Union will establish the first regional non-governmental organization (NGO) network in Egypt, Jordan and Morocco to tackle trafficking and protect women migrant workers’ rights.

Acid Survivors Trust International will pilot groundbreaking strategies for ending acid burning against women in Cambodia, Nepal and Uganda, while the Beijing Cultural Development Centre for Rural Women in China will develop protection mechanisms for girls “left behind” and at risk of sexual abuse in the countryside, while their parents work in urban centres.

In Peru, the Asociación de Comunicadores Sociales Calandria will empower rural adolescent girls to become leaders in the anti-violence movement. The Women United Together of Marshall Islands will strengthen domestic violence legislation and protocols, ensure enactment of culturally sensitive laws, and establish a gender responsive national policy.

In Burundi, the Ministry of Human Rights and Gender will focus on sexual and domestic violence, with an emphasis on prevention of violence in schools, while the UN Country Teams in Belarus, Sri Lanka and Indonesia will support multi-sectoral interventions to enforce national laws addressing violence against women and girls.