NEW YORK (TIP): The United Nations Trust Fund to End Violence against Women (UN Trust Fund) announced, November 22, USD 8 million in grants to 17 initiatives in 18 countries and territories. First-time grant recipients include organizations from Antigua and Barbuda, Mauritania, Myanmar and Kosovo (under UNSCR 1244). These new grants are expected to reach 2.3 million beneficiaries between 2014 and 2017.

“Violence against women and girls can be systematically addressed, and, with persistence, eliminated. The UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women is dedicated to doing just this,” said Ms. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women. “Working with partners across the world, the Fund supports concrete action toward a world free of violence. The support of governments, corporations, foundations and individuals is crucial in achieving this goal.” Violence against women and girls continues to be one of the most pervasive human rights violations in the world, affecting as many as one in three women and girls during their lifetime.

It severely impacts survivors and comes at tremendous emotional and economic costs for families and societies. “The sheer scale of prevailing violence against women and girls is an abomination as well as an obstacle to inclusive development,” said Ms. Lilianne Ploumen, Netherlands Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, one of the UNTF’s multi-year donors. “There is urgent need for action to live up to the commitments made in Resolutions and at the Commission of the Status of Women. The Netherlands will continue to support the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women and encourages others to do so as well.”

The grants announced today will support initiatives that respond to three priority areas of the UN Trust Fund: prevention, expanded access to services, and strengthened implementation of national laws, policies and action plans on violence against women and girls. Additionally, this year, funds will be used to address violence against adolescent and young girls, including through engaging school girls in Bangladesh and Viet Nam and developing the capacities of young girl leaders in the Ukraine.

Other new UN Trust Fund grantees spearheading pioneering approaches include:

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o In South Africa, Grassroot Soccer will upscale and expand its innovative SKILLS Plus sports-based intervention to foster girls’ empowerment, expand girls’ awareness of sexual and reproductive rights and increase girls’ access to medical, legal and psychosocial services;

o Medical Services in the Pacific will operate mobile clinics in seven rural market locations across Fiji, providing 18,000 women with improved access to sexual and reproductive healthcare, sexual assault counseling and referral services.

o The Danish Refugee Council will empower displaced women through the provision of legal aid to survivors of violence by creating mobile legal clinics to serve communities hosting high concentrations of returnees and internally displaced persons in Afghanistan and refugee and asylumseekers in Tajikistan.

The new grants are made possible with generous support from the Governments of Australia, Austria, Germany, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Liechtenstein, the Netherlands and South Africa. The Fund is also grateful for the vital support of its partners in the private and non-profit sectors: the Saban Foundation; the United Nations Federal Credit Union, UN Women National Committees (Austria, Iceland, Japan, Singapore and the United Kingdom) and Zonta International.

Administered by UN Women on behalf of the UN System, the UN Trust Fund has supported 368 initiatives in 132 countries and territories, delivering a total of USD 95 million since its establishment by the General Assembly in 1996. On 25 November, the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, the Fund will also launch its next grant cycle with a global call for proposals to support country-level programs to end violence against women and girls in 2014. UN Women is the UN organization dedicated to gender equality and the empowerment of women.

A global champion for women and girls, UN Women was established to accelerate progress on meeting their needs worldwide. For more information, visit www.unwomen.org. UN Women, 220 East 42nd Street, New York, NY 10017, New York. Tel: +1 646 781-4400. Fax: +1 646 781-4496.

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