(New York) – The United Nations Women’s Peace and Humanitarian Fund (WPHF) – together with its UN, government and INGO partners – announced the launch of its latest emergency funding appeal to rapidly mobilize urgently-needed new financing for local women’s organizations responding on the front lines of Haiti’s escalating humanitarian crisis.
“Women civil society leaders have long been at the forefront of peacebuilding and humanitarian response in Haiti, working across the humanitarian-development-peacebuilding nexus,” said Ghita El Khyari, Head of the WPHF Secretariat. “It is imperative that Haiti’s women first responders are supported and given the opportunity for their voices to meaningfully shape crisis management and local humanitarian responses on the ground.”
In recent weeks, the people of Haiti have faced soaring inflation, poverty, political instability, widespread gang violence and food insecurity. The UN estimates that at least 1.5 million people have been affected by recent unrest and riots, which broke out on 12 September over a fuel price hike announced by the country’s government. The World Food Programme estimates that the total number of people facing acute food insecurity now stands at 4.5 million (45% of the population) and 1.3 million people are in need of urgent assistance. In this context of widespread insecurity, women and girls are particularly vulnerable to sexual and gender-based violence, exploitation, and rape, which is being used systematically by gangs and other violent actors.
Women, including women civil society organizations, in Haiti are often excluded from participation in decision-making processes. It is essential that Haitian women – and local women’s rights and women-led organizations – are supported to actively engage in renewed consultations alongside Government representatives, political groups, and international actors to ensure gender-inclusive and sustainable responses to the country’s current needs.
“(There is) an increase in all sorts of violence, including sexual exploitation, malnutrition, mortality, and mental health issues,” said a current WPHF partner and local civil society activist in Haiti. “(Women) are becoming more and more vulnerable in terms of their empowerment.”
The WPHF funding appeal for Haiti will mobilize up to USD 9 million to support local women’s organizations working across three priority impact areas: Strengthening women’s participation and leadership in planning and responding to humanitarian crises, including food insecurity; Protecting women and girls affected by SGBV; and Peacebuilding and economic recovery.
The Call for Proposals will make available financing for civil society organizations that build the resilience of Haitian women and girls through programmatic funding from 30,000 USD to 200,000 USD, and institutional funding to help sustain and strengthen women’s organizations throughout the crisis with grants from 2,500 USD to 30,000 USD.WPHF Emergency Fundraiser for Women in Haiti