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17 Countries Move To Stop Violence Against Women

17 Developing Countries Receive UN Grants To Battle Violence Against Women

The United Nations Trust Fund to Eliminate Violence Against Women today announced grants totaling nearly $1 million to fight the scourge in war-affected countries across the globe, from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Southern Sudan to Georgia and Honduras.

Noeleen Heyzer, Executive Director of the UN Development Fund for Women UNIFEM) which administers the Fund, said the problem of gender-based violence “only deepens with war.”

In all, 17 groups in developing countries will receive the latest grants including community leaders in the DRC who will be trained to address the communal impact of violence against women.

In the Southern Sudan the capacity to document the war’s impact on women will be enhanced and used to influence post-conflict reconstruction, and ensure better access for women to services and training to participate in peace processes.

In the West Bank, Gaza Strip and Jerusalem, medical practitioners and health care workers will develop a Code of Ethics for assistance to survivors of violence while government officials in Georgia and Azerbaijan will receive training to promote the use of violence prevention and prosecution mechanisms at institutional and policy levels.

In Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador, Nicaragua and Costa Rica, research and investigation into the scale of gender-based violence will be used to influence reform of legislation and public policies, and encourage greater collective action to end impunity.

The Fund, a unique multilateral mechanism established by the UN General Assembly in 1996, has granted $8.3 million to 175 initiatives in 96 countries since then.

Demand continues to outstrip supply. UNIFEM has received up to $17.5 million in requests, with only about $1 million to give out each year.

"For every project funded, there are at least 10 turned away,” Ms. Heyzer said. “Our biggest obstacle is not a lack of ideas. It is a lack of resources."

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