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Statement by Action Aid, International Rescue Committee, and Women’s Refugee Commission at the Ending Sexual and Gender-based Violence in Humanitarian Crises conference, Oslo, May 24, 2019

Excellencies, distinguished delegates,

On behalf of ActionAid, the International Rescue Committee and the Women’s Refugee Commission, we welcome the timely focus of this conference.

We would like to talk about two aspects that have been discussed at this conference but require emphasizing: The need to prioritize the voices and rights of women and girls, and the need to dramatically scale up and track funding for localized women-led protection.

We know that the meaningful inclusion and prioritization of women and girls is crucial in advancing effective humanitarian action and community resilience. This must go beyond consultations but shift power to women and women-led organizations long term and genuinely recognize and support their leadership.

Local women-led organizations, including those representing adolescent girls and women with disabilities, not only have the contextual knowledge and experience but hold the trust of their communities and survivors. They are well placed to strengthen protection efforts, address intersecting inequalities and provide critical services, including sexual and reproductive health care and can also link up survivors with existing referral services and pathways.

We remain deeply concerned about the chronic lack of funding for GBV prevention and response. A recent global review shows that only 0.12% of humanitarian funding goes to GBV programming and two thirds of funding requests are not met. This is particularly true for local and national responders as well as community-based organizations representing diverse groups, who, despite commitments in the Grand Bargain, only received 0.4% of all humanitarian funding in 2017. The lack of disaggregated data on funding means we cannot determine how much of that funding goes to support women and girls directly.

Donors should adapt funding mechanisms and adjust policies to be user-friendly and create dedicated, multi-year, flexible and accessible funds available to women-led organizations.

Finally, as active members, we want to call for your support for the Call to Action on Protection from GBV in Emergencies, a multi-stakeholder initiative that fundamentally transforms the way GBV is addressed in humanitarian emergencies.

We stand ready to partner collectively to achieve gender equality and create systemic change.

Thank you.