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Thursday, September 28, 2023

UN delivers lifeline to Africa women groups for COVID-19 response

The UN Women says it is supporting to the work of grassroots women’s organisations in Covid-19 response through two financing initiatives: the Women’s Peace and Humanitarian Fund (WPHF), to which UN Women provides board leadership and secretariat support, and the UN Trust Fund to End Violence against Women (UNTF EVAW).

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director, UN Women

In addition to the dramatic health crisis, the COVID-19 global pandemic appears to have presented new threats to the work and existence of local civil society organisations working on the front lines of crises, making the need to mobilise support for their efforts more urgent than ever before.

Women’s organisations and activists are already on the front lines of COVID-19 response and are regarded as an integral part of the COVID-19 response and recovery efforts that should be adequately supported financially.

“From the start of this emergency, UN Women has been in close touch with grantees, civil society organisations and activists around the world to identify measures to mitigate the pandemic’s dire impact.

“These organisations make an extraordinary contribution to society, from response to widespread violence against women to the specific challenges that women and girls face in conflict settings. We must sustain them and meet their critical needs in these unprecedented times,” said UN Women Executive Director, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka.

In partnership with the European Union and the Spotlight Initiative, the UNTF EVAW will allocate an additional $9 million to up to 44 civil society existing grantees in sub-Saharan Africa to continue their essential work. The financial assistance will primarily focus on institutional strengthening, risk mitigation and survivor recovery in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic and the alarming high rates of increasing violence against women and girls.

The new WPHF COVID-19 Emergency Response window will support civil society organisations with vital institutional and programmatic financing in 25 WPHF eligible countries facing conflict and crises in four regions across the globe.

With over 5,000 funding proposals already submitted by local women’s organisations worldwide, this new instrument will drive urgently needed new resources to grassroots women activists working to counter COVID-19 in their crises-affected communities.

These additional funds are a recognition of the critical work of grassroots women’s organizations and activists around the world, and their key contribution to respond to the new challenges presented by COVID-19, leaving no one behind, according to UN Women.

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