(Chisinau) — The United Nations Women’s Peace and Humanitarian Fund (WPHF) – together with its government donors Austria, Germany, Ireland, Norway, Sweden and the United Kingdom – convened in Moldova last week alongside the UN Resident Coordinator, UN Women and UNHRC Moldova country teams to witness and drive more support for the critical work of civil society organizations responding to the urgent needs of women and girls on the front lines of the Ukraine humanitarian crisis.
To date, WPHF has rapidly mobilized over USD 10 Million to support local women’s civil society organizations across Ukraine and Moldova, thanks to the partnership of the German Federal Foreign Office, Canada, and Ireland – including the most recent 8.5M Euro contribution by the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development.
“WPHF is having a tangible impact – providing an important opportunity to fund local women’s organizations who build the back-bone of the feminist movement in Ukraine and Moldova.”
-Simon Springett, United Nations Resident Coordinator in the Republic of Moldova
WPHF financing is channeling programmatic and institutional support to local women’s rights and women-led CSOs in Moldova and Ukraine to sustain their critical operations on the front lines, provide urgent humanitarian aid to women refugees and internally displaced people (IDPs), and to protect women and girls against sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV).
“After seeing the influence of its work on the ground, I am particularly proud of Germany’s lasting partnership with the Women’s Peace and Humanitarian Fund as it continues to serve as one of the most responsive international mechanisms to quickly tackle emerging challenges.”
-Tanja Beyer, Acting German Ambassador to Moldova
“The war in Ukraine has displaced millions of people to other countries including Moldova, the majority of them women and girls whose lives have radically changed,” Beyer said. “The German government remains committed to the goal of promoting gender equality, participation and protection of women as a central element of our foreign and development policy. As the Fund’s largest donor, our cooperation with WPHF is furthering this goal by strengthening women-led organizations as well as female leadership in peacebuilding and crisis response,” she added.
During the two-day mission, the delegation visited WPHF-supported Moldovan CSO partners to discuss the grave barriers they face in accessing flexible financing and to witness their vital work providing specialized services for women and girl refugees – including survivors of sexual and gender-based violence – and building the capacity of local host communities to better address their needs.
“Our work focusses on building resilient communities because this is the premise for building peace”, said Mariana Buruiana of the Women’s Law Center, a Moldovan civil society organization and WPHF-supported partner.
“Along with providing accommodation, food, psychosocial and legal counseling – we are building alliances among women’s orgs, local host communities and public authorities to enable a coordinated, safe and empowering environment for displaced women and girls.”
-Mariana Buruiana, Women’s Law Center
Together with the UN Women Moldova colleagues, the delegation met with Moldova’s Ministry of Labour and Social Protection, the Department for Equal Opportunities for Women and Men and the Ministry of Internal Affairs to discuss the central role that local feminist organizations serve as humanitarian responders and effective agents of social cohesion between refugees and host communities. The delegation also visited the Moldexpo Accommodation Center and the Palanca border crossing point to learn more about the experiences of women and girl refugees as the CSO partners WPHF supports respond to their urgent needs.
“Moldova is a small country with a big heart. This welcome financing from WPHF will strengthen the voices and enable the essential response efforts of local women and youth organizations working on the front lines of the refugee crisis.”
-Dominika Stojanoska, UN Women Representative to Moldova
The mission included an official WPHF Moldova launch event in Chisinau hosted by UN Women, which welcomed WPHF’s 6 new civil society partners, honoring the work of these bold feminist organizations and highlighting new WPHF funding opportunities for CSOs in the region. Event speakers and participants highlighted the urgent global imperative for increased financing for local women’s civil society and lauded WPHF and its innovative approach as a flexible, rapid and effective financing tool that is unlocking women’s untapped potential to make transformative impact in crisis settings in Moldova and around the world.
“Thank you to the government donors who joined us in Moldova to witness the impact of our CSO partners first-hand. WPHF is a fund that not only supports, but listens to the voices of women’s civil society organizations, and it is your commitment and partnership that makes our work a reality in crisis contexts across the globe.”
-Ghita El-Khyari, Head of the WPHF Secretariat
The United Nations Women’s Peace and Humanitarian Fund (WPHF) is the only global financing mechanism dedicated exclusively to accelerating programmatic and institutional support for local women’s organisations working in fragile settings to respond to crisis and build lasting peace. For more information about the Fund’s efforts in Ukraine, Moldova and around the world, contact Ghita El Khyari firstname.lastname@example.org, Head of the WPHF Secretariat.