UNITED STATES. New York: Mark Lowcock, the United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Emergency Relief Coordinator, has released $25 million from the UN’s emergency fund. The funds were released to extend support to women-led organizations that prevent and respond to gender-based violence. The announcement was made on Nov. 25.
United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and UN Women are the beneficiaries. They have been asked to channel 30 percent of the funds to women-led organizations working towards preventing violence against girls and women.
In a statement, Lowcock said, “The COVID-19 pandemic helped reveal the full extent of gender inequality while creating a set of circumstances that threaten to reverse the limited progress that has been made. The needs of women and girls in humanitarian settings continue to be overlooked and underfunded. It’s a smart investment and it’s the right thing to do. We can only successfully find a way out of this pandemic if we bring everyone with us.”
The United Nations’ emergency fund
The financing came from the United Nations’ Central Emergency Response Fund (CERF). CERF is a fund that offers powerful approaches to help individuals influenced by the emergency. Since 2005, the fund has provided around $7 billion for humanitarian works. This has helped many individuals over the globe. In the interim, UNFPA will get $17 million and the leftover $8 million will go to UN Women.
The announcement came at the start of “16 Days of Activism Against Gender-based Violence”. This is an international campaign that aims to challenge violence against women and girls. The campaign starts on 25 November and ends on 10 December.
The Executive Director of the UN Population Fund, Dr. Natalia Kanem said, “It’s time to say ‘Enough’ to gender-based violence and to prioritize the rights and needs of women and girls. This grant will bring transformative change to women and girls, including the women-led organizations we work with on the ground. In 2019, nearly 40% of UNFPA’s humanitarian funding went to national and local partners. We look forward to making an even bigger impact together with life-saving interventions to prevent and respond to gender-based violence and advance sexual and reproductive health.”