2016 Safe From the Start Funding and Projects

Fact Sheet
Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration
March 21, 2017


The State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) aims to be a catalyst to draw attention to the issue of gender-based violence (GBV) in conflict-affected disasters globally in order to improve dialogue, evidence, response, innovation, coordination, and leadership through funding and policy development. In 2013, PRM and OFDA/USAID launched a joint signature initiative, Safe from the Start (SftS), which is an effort to begin to change the way the humanitarian community responds to GBV in emergencies. Approximately $55 million has been channeled through this initiative since 2013 to fill gaps as well as strengthen the core capacity of our key humanitarian partners to address GBV from the earliest phases of an emergency. SftS represents the U.S. Government’s commitment under the global Call to Action on Protection from GBV in Emergencies (CtA), of which the U.S. assumed leadership from 2014-2015. The following are current projects funded by the SftS initiative:

International Committee of the Red Cross:

2016 Special Appeal on Sexual Violence: Contribution to support ICRC’s multi-year commitment to transform the organization’s approach to preventing and responding to sexual violence in armed conflict and other situations of violence. ICRC has a four-pronged approach to sexual violence: holistic response in the field; support to authorities; coordination with the Movement; and internal training for ICRC headquarters and field staff. ICRC’s Appeal outlines the organization’s work to better address sexual violence in conflict; raising awareness and reducing risk of sexual violence as well as advocating for community-based support to survivors. Depending on survivors’ needs, ICRC services include medical, psychological, economic and social support.

UN High Commissioner for Refugees:

Partnership to Prevent and Respond to Sexual and Gender-Based Violence in Humanitarian Emergencies: This project integrates the lessons learned from three years of Safe from the Start implementation and builds upon UNHCR’s goals to improve its institutional capacity to prevent and respond to GBV at the onset of emergencies. Support includes the deployment of six Senior Gender-Based Violence Protection Officers to support UNHCR field operations focusing on coordination and program implementation as well as updating UNHCR’s GBV training, which is now required for all staff, and was rolled out in the fall of 2016. UNHCR will also undertake research and programming to respond to outstanding challenges, such as exploring the links between GBV and child protection, working with male survivors of GBV, strengthening protection from sexual exploitation and abuse (PSEA), as well as interventions to improve access to safe forms of cooking energy, livelihood opportunities, use of technology, and light for displaced populations. UNHCR also initiated the Programming for Protection (P4P) Learning Program, which is a learning initiative aimed at strengthening the management and integration of protection priorities, including GBV, throughout the program cycle. 2017 will see the launch of the first full cohort of the P4P.

UN Children’s Agency:

Leveraging UNICEF and Partner Capacity to Operationalize the GBV Guidelines: This project will support additional human resources needs to fully roll-out and operationalize the Inter-Agency Standing Committee (IASC) GBV Guidelines. This includes rollout of dedicated, sector-specific trainings for key staff and partners on the Guidelines, documentation and sharing of lessons learned to illustrate in a tangible way how women and children are affected when the Guidelines are used, emergency deployments for a consultant to help promote use of the GBV Guidelines from the onset of the emergency, and providing technical capacity building for Child Protection, Education, Health, Nutrition, and WASH teams on the ground and sector and cluster partners to integrate the recommendations from the Guidelines into their work.

International Organization for Migration:

Promoting Reduction of and Improved Operational Response to Gender-Based Violence (GBV) through Camp Management and Site Planning Activities. Multi-year project to continue the roll out of tools and guidance for improving women’s participation in camp governance structures for use by camp management agencies; in-depth skills building and reflection workshops to develop GBV risk mitigation action plans; field-testing and refinement of GBV risk reduction tools in shelter and settlement operations; continued expansion and scale up of the integration of GBV risk indicators into the Displacement Tracking Matrix; and capacity development for camp coordination, camp management, and shelter actors through training, mentorship, and operational support provided through GBV rapid response advisors.

UN Population Fund:

Promoting UNFPA’s Readiness to Respond: Support to Scaling up Gender-based Violence Surge Support for UNFPA in Humanitarian Contexts: This project builds upon UNFPA’s role as co-lead of the GBV Area of Responsibility, and seeks to address a fundamental gap in staff and surge capacity. UNFPA is dedicating focused attention to two key pillars of action: 1) scaling up humanitarian programming to ensure impact to achieve better sexual and reproductive health (SRH) and GBV outcomes in 28 priority high-risk countries, and 2) increase internal and external capacity to provide quality GBV and SRH services and risk reduction activities at the onset and for the duration of a crisis, including through building a global pool of GBV personnel ready for deployment in emergencies.

UN Relief Works Agency:

Building Safety: Mainstreaming GBV Interventions into Emergency Preparedness, Prevention and Response, April 2016: This project aims to support UNRWA’s work to establish a more strategic response to GBV in emergencies, and mainstream GBV best practices throughout the agency. This includes through strengthening organizational capacity to address GBV in the context of emergency preparedness, to develop an evidence-based assessment and define best practices of GBV prevention/mitigation processes in emergencies that will improve UNRWA preparedness and response to GBV in emergencies, and strengthen participation of target communities and beneficiaries in GBV prevention processes.

Date: 2017 Description: PRM FY 2016 FUNDING FOR SAFE FROM THE START $11,837,595 - State Dept Image

For more information about PRM’s work, please email: PRM-MCEGender&Youth@state.gov