The UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women will give more than $8 million in grants to local initiatives in 18 countries to deal with the issue, the UN agency tasked with advancing gender equality announced today.
"The UN Trust Fund shows what works to prevent violence against women, to end impunity and to provide services and support to survivors," said the Executive Director of the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women), Michelle Bachelet.
"I appeal to governments, business and foundations to support the work of this fund and make a strong contribution to ending violence against women and girls," she added in a news release.
According to UN Women, up to seven in 10 women are targeted for physical or sexual violence in their lifetime and 603 million women live in countries where domestic violence is still not considered a crime.
In 10 out of the 18 countries receiving grants, funds will be used to address violence against women in conflict, post-conflict and transitional settings. Libya will be among the first-time recipients of this type of grant, UN Women added in the news release.
This year's grants from the UN Trust Fund were assigned to "pioneering approaches worldwide aimed at transforming the lives of women and girls," UN Women noted. They include: a learning programme on gender-based violence in Malawi, an initiative to reduce stigma against survivors of gender-based violence in Libya, developing bylaws in Papua New Guinea to prevent violence against women, and a learning programme to end school-related gender-based violence in Malawi.
The UN Trust Fund also received this year, for the first time, significant support from countries in Africa, Latin America and the Arab States region. However, UN Women said more funding is urgently needed to support more life-saving programmes around the world.
This year alone, a total of 2,210 applications from 121 countries were received, with all of the proposals amounting to $1.1 billion. However, only $8.2 million could be awarded - less than one per cent of the total demand.
Administered by the UN Women on behalf of the UN system, the Trust Fund is a multilateral grant-making mechanism exclusively dedicated to ending all forms of violence against women and girls. It is backed by various UN Member States, as well as partners in the private sector and civil society organizations.
The UN Trust Fund has so far supported 351 programmes in 128 countries and territories, with more than $86 million disbursed since it was first established by the General Assembly in 1996.