Image by UNICEF Ethiopia 2015/Tesfaye
  • Report
  • 19 March 2020

Gender-based violence and the nexus: global lessons from the Syria crisis response for financing, policy and practice: Appendix 3

Appendix 3: Global pooled funds relevant to GBV


Conflict and emergency settings

Women’s Peace and Humanitarian Fund (WPHF) – Launched in 2016 as an outcome of the UN system’s 2015 review of the implementation of UN Security Council resolution 1325, the WPHF provides flexible and rapid finance to women’s civil society organisations that are working to advance women’s participation in crisis, peace and security contexts globally.[1] It has the explicit goals of breaking siloes between humanitarian, peace, security and development finance and addressing gaps in funding for women’s participation across the crisis, peace and security, and development continuum. With US$24.5 million in contributions from 10 donors to date,[2] WPHF is supporting women’s organisations to work on a range of issues across the WPS agenda, including GBV.

UNFPA Humanitarian Action Thematic Fund – UNFPA launched the Humanitarian Action Thematic Fund in June 2018 to address gaps in funding for sexual and reproductive health services and GBV prevention and response. The fund, which is in a pilot phase, will provide flexible and multi-year financing and aims to increase resources available to fill gaps in the response to GBV. The fund has been designed to enable UNFPA to respond quickly at the beginning of a crisis and address the humanitarian–development nexus.

UN Multi-Partner Trust Fund for Action Against Sexual Violence in Conflict (UN Action) – Formed in 2007, UN Action brings together 12 UN entities to strengthen UN system’s response to CRSV. The fund supports the UN Team of Experts on the Rule of Law and Sexual Violence in Conflict (TOE), which was set up in 2011 as an outcome of UN Security Council resolution 1888 (2009). The TOE is made up of experts from several UN agencies that deploy to the field to support national authorities to strengthen the rule of law and criminal accountability for CRSV in order to deter future violations. The fund supports UN Action’s Secretariat[3] and strategy, which until 2018 focused upon advocacy, knowledge generation and strategic support to UN missions and country teams to address CRSV. To date, the fund has received approximately US$ 48.4 million in contributions, of which US$45.8 has been committed with approximately half allocated to the TOE.[4]

Development settings

Spotlight Initiative – Launched with a €500 million commitment from the EU, the Spotlight Initiative is a global, multi-year partnership between the EU and UN agencies to prevent and respond to violence against women and girls, currently covering 25 countries. It focuses on all forms of GBV and harmful practices, including domestic and family violence, female genital mutilation, forced and child marriage, femicide, human trafficking and sexual and labour exploitation. The initiative is not implemented in conflict situations or emergency settings, although it does aim to contribute to longer term resilience and risk reduction[5] and includes some countries that are in a recovery phase or are affected by conflict or instability in certain regions.

UN Trust Fund to End Violence Against Women – A multilateral grant-making mechanism managed by UN Women, the UN Trust Fund supports local, national and regional efforts to end violence against women, with a particular focus on support to civil society organisations. Since 1996, the UN Trust Fund has awarded US$140 million in grants to 493 initiatives in 139 countries.[6]


  • 1
    WPHF currently supports projects in 12 crisis contexts, including Lebanon and Iraq.
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  • 3
    The Secretariat is located within the Office of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict.
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