(New York) — The United Nations Women’s Peace and Humanitarian Fund (WPHF) announced today the launch of its latest emergency funding appeal to mobilize urgently-needed financing for local women’s organizations responding to the rapidly escalating crisis in Palestine.
On 7 October 2023, Palestinian armed groups in Gaza launched a violent attack on Israel – the deadliest in decades. Israeli forces retaliated with an unprecedented level of air strikes on Gaza, killing over 8,805 Palestinians as of 1 November – over two-thirds of whom are women and children – and forcing more than 1.4 million people to flee, according to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR). Two days later, on 9 October, Israeli authorities ordered a total siege of Gaza, halting the provision of electricity and fuel supplies, cutting access to drinking water, and restricting access for humanitarian staff and the delivery of aid to its 2.2 million residents. Around 1,400 civilian Israeli and foreign nationals have also been killed since 7 October, according to Israeli authorities.
The current escalation of the crisis and humanitarian needs is expected to have a disproportionate impact on women and girls, resulting in acute levels of gender-based violence, including sexual and psychological violence. Internally displaced women are bearing the brunt of the loss of livelihoods, housing and land, leaving them at heightened risk of sexual and labor exploitation, human trafficking, and forced marriage, and hindering their access to food, clean water, and comprehensive health services – including sexual and reproductive health care.
In the face of this rapidly evolving crisis, Palestinian women first-responders and local civil society actors must be supported to remain at the forefront of humanitarian action to ensure gender-inclusive and sustainable responses to Palestine’s growing humanitarian and protection needs.
The WPHF emergency funding appeal will mobilize up to 10 million USD to support local women’s organizations working in Palestine across the following priority areas: Advancing the participation and leadership of women in planning and responding to humanitarian crises; Enhancing the safety, security and mental health of women and girls and protecting their human rights; and Supporting local women’s organizations through institutional funding to sustain themselves as they continue to operate in this fragile context.
The first phase of WPHF’s emergency response in Palestine will channel funding to pre-identified local women’s CSOs working to address the urgent needs of their communities. This will be followed by a public Call for Proposals to mobilize women’s organizations that can respond to the crisis and the specific needs of women and girls.
The Call for Proposals will make available financing for civil society organizations that build the resilience of Palestinian women and girls through programmatic funding from 30,000 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.FUNDRAISER FOR WOMEN'S ORGS IN PALESTINE