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Where is the money? Why the Oslo conference must finally deliver funding for gender-based violence in emergencies

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As highlighted by the emergence of the #MeToo movement, violence against women and girls is a global health problem of epidemic proportion. But for women and girls caught up in conflict and crisis, where the rule of law breaks down and where the things that protect women, such as safe housing, are removed, the situation is significantly worse. 

While the leaders of our humanitarian system accept the scale and seriousness of the problem, all too often programmes that try to respond or even prevent gender-based violence (GBV) in emergencies are poorly funded and in some places not funded at all.

Ahead of the high-level conference Ending Sexual and Gender-based Violence in Humanitarian Crises, taking place in Oslo on 23 and 24 May 2019, the International Rescue Committee has released a new briefing which aims to uncover the extent of the funding gap for GBV in emergencies.

Based on preliminary findings from new research commissioned by the IRC from the humanitarian think tank VOICE, the briefing reveals that funding allocated specifically to gender-based violence in emergencies amounted to just 0.12% of the $41.5 billion allocated for humanitarian response over the three years 2016-2018. For the same period, funding requests for GBV in emergencies totalled $155.9 million, and two thirds of these went unfunded, leaving a funding gap of $104.2 million.

This briefing urges all donors attending the Oslo Conference to commit to immediately tripling their GBV funding commitments in order to start to close the funding gap.  It also calls for immediate action to increase the number of GBV specialists who are posted to each emergency contexts and urges donors, UN agencies and other humanitarian actors to tackle challenges in tracking funding for this import work.

Available documents & links