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UNIFEM announces US$19 million in grants for 23 projects in 29 countries to end violence against women

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2008 Amount Higher than Total Disbursed since Inception of UN Trust Fund in 1996 / UNIFEM Executive Director: "Extremely Encouraging Trend"

United Nations, New York - The United Nations Trust Fund to End Violence against Women will award nearly US$19 million in 2008 to 23 projects and initiatives in 29 countries that are addressing gender-based violence. This is more than the UN Trust Fund - which is administered by UNIFEM on behalf of the UN system - has awarded in total since its inception in 1996. In comparison to last year, when US$5 million were disbursed, the grant amount has almost quadrupled.

"This is an extremely encouraging trend," UNIFEM Executive Director Inés Alberdi said. "It is a sign of new momentum created through UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's campaign UNiTE to End Violence against Women. In the context of this campaign, the UN Trust Fund is a key mechanism to provide urgently needed funding to initiatives worldwide," she added.

Despite the steep increase, resources still fall short to meet the vast demand. Overall, grants requests amounting to US$525 million were received this year for initiatives in developing countries, including in conflict-affected countries where widespread and systematic sexual violence has become a horrific tactic of warfare.

For the first time in the UN Trust Fund's history, applicants were invited to submit proposal requests for up to US$1 million. Also, UN Country Teams were invited to apply in partnership with national governments and civil society organizations.

About the 2008 Grantees

In 2008, grants go to organizations to support the implementation of national laws, policies, and action plans on ending violence against women. 13 initiatives in 18 countries will receive grants amounting to US$12 million to that end. Examples of such projects approved in this 13th grant cycle include:

In India, a grantee will facilitate the implementation of the national 2005 "Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act" by developing a model of an effective response system for women survivors of violence that involves multiple state agencies.

In Ecuador, a project will develop the linkage between economic empowerment and prevention of violence against women in two border rural provinces marked by poverty and discrimination, and highly affected by the armed conflict in Colombia.

In Serbia, a model for cooperation between the police and social welfare centres at provincial level will ensure systematic and standardized data collection and analysis on reported cases of violence against women, as well as coordinated services for survivors of violence.

In China, the UN Country Team intends to raise political commitment among policy makers to adopt a national policy and legislation on domestic violence by working in close partnership with the "All China Women's Federation" and various ministries. This joint UN programme will build upon good practices and lessons learned from successful pilot projects.

A second set of grants amounting to US$7 million are awarded to 10 groups in 13 countries focusing on catalytic, innovative and learning initiatives to address violence against women.

In Morocco, a country where women are particularly vulnerable to discrimination and violence upon becoming pregnant outside of wedlock, support for professional development and legal literacy will be provided for single mothers.

A cross-regional initiative will document and evaluate four interventions to promote positive changes in men's attitudes and behaviours regarding gender roles and norms in Brazil, Chile, India and Rwanda, contributing to the knowledge base on effective strategies to engage men in ending violence against women.

About the UN Trust Fund

The United Nations Trust Fund to End Violence against Women (UN Trust Fund) is a leading global mechanism supporting efforts of governments and non-governmental organizations to end violence against women and girls. Established in 1996 by the UN General Assembly, the UN Trust Fund is administered by the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) on behalf of the UN system.

Grants are decided collectively in an open and competitive selection process by representatives of UN agencies, representatives of NGOs and other experts. Since its establishment, the UN Trust Fund has granted more than US$40 million to 286 initiatives in 115 countries.

Contributions come from a diverse group of governments, non-governmental organizations, the private sector, and individuals. In 2008, donors include: the Governments of Australia, Austria, Finland, Ireland, Liechtenstein, the Netherlands, Slovenia, Trinidad and Tobago, Brazil, Spain, and the United States of America; the UN Foundation; National Committees for UNIFEM in Austria, Iceland, Italy, and the United States of America; Avon Products Inc., Johnson & Johnson, TAG Heuer, Cinema for Peace, Zonta International, as well as UNIFEM Goodwill Ambassador Nicole Kidman.

Interviews can be arranged with the following UN Trust Fund grantees through beatrice.frey[at]unifem.org:

Ms. Marie Nyombo Zaina, Democratic Republic of Congo, Grantee of the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women

Ms. Milena Kadieva, Bulgarian Gender Research Foundation, Grantee of the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women

Media Inquiries

Béatrice Frey, Media Consultant
UNIFEM Headquarters
+1 347 822-3755, beatrice.frey[at]unifem.org