United Nations Trust Fund to End Violence against Women

UN Trust Fund

220 East 42nd Street, 21st Floor New York, NY 11226, USA



The UN Trust Fund to End Violence Against Women (UN Trust Fund) is the only global grant-making mechanism that is dedicated exclusively to addressing all forms of violence against women and girls. The UN Trust Fund raises and distributes funds to support multi-year demand-driven projects to address, prevent and ultimately end violence against women and girls in three priority areas: improving access for women and girls to essential, safe and adequate multi-sectorial services; furthering the implementation of legislation, policies, national action plans and accountability systems; and promoting the prevention of violence against women and girls. Over the past 25 years, its grantees have impacted the lives of women and girls in every region, addressing complex and diverse forms of violence against women and girls through innovative projects driven by the demands of their particular contexts. In 2020, the UN Trust Fund supported 150 projects aimed at preventing and addressing violence against women and girls with grants totalling 72.8 million in 71 countries and territories across five regions.

In 2020, 242,599 women and girls directly benefitted from support that let to transformative changes in their lives by UN Trust Fund grantees. The projects provided life-saving services and empowered women and girls directly, including changing the lives of a minimum of 26,519 survivors of violence, 21,040 women and girls with disabilities and 11,747 refugee and internally displaced women and girls. In total, the UN Trust Fund grantees reaches 31,071,058 people in 2020, aiming to create safe and thriving environments for women and girls.

The work of the UN Trust Fund and its grantees in 2020 and 2021 continued to be marked by the impact of the global COVID-19 pandemic and the adverse consequences generated by measures undertaken to curb its spread. The UN Trust Fund responded promptly to the crisis by putting in place a 5-point action plan to assist grantees in adapting their interventions to the new context generated by the COVID-19 crisis. The UN Trust Fund subsequently consolidated essential data from Civil Society Organisations and Women’s Rights Organisations (CSOs/WROs) into two knowledge briefs providing key insights to inform partners’ advocacy, policy and funding decisions.

In response to challenges that were jeopardising current projects, and in some cases threatening institutional survival, in partnership with the European Union and the United Nations Spotlight Initiative (EU/UN Spotlight Initiative) an additional USD 9 million was allocated for immediate and ongoing support to 44 UN Trust Fund grantees in sub-Saharan Africa.

In addition, the UN Trust Fund launched its Strategic Plan 2021-2025, which is grounded in the right of all women and girls to live free of violence. It seeks to achieve this goal through global solidarity and partnerships that enable civil society organisations, especially women’s rights organisations, to deliver survivor-centred and demand-driven initiatives to help feminist movements grow globally.

The new Strategic Plan is based on extensive consultations with stakeholders, donors and grantees, who called for key details including:

Increased flexible funding and more grants that cover longer periods;

Opportunities to pilot and test innovative approaches to ending violence against women and girls;

Increased resources to support and build the capacity of civil society organisations and women’s rights organisations; and

More space for knowledge-sharing, learning and dialogue among grantees.

Areas of Focus

The UN Trust Fund’s priority areas of focus include:

  • Improving access to essential specialist, safe and adequate services, including access to justice, for survivors for those at risk of violence.
  • Transforming social norms, a key factor in preventing violence against women and girls.
  • Ensuring more effective legislation, policies and national action plans that are shaped by women and girls in decision-making processes.