March 2015 – This project increases the International Committee of the Red Cross’s (ICRC) capacity to prevent and reduce sexual violence in armed conflicts, particularly for women and girls who face increased vulnerability in situations of conflict and displacement. Rape and other forms of sexual violence may be used systematically as an act of reprisal and to create fear. The consequences are far reaching, affecting victims not only physically but psychologically and socially. With DFATD’s support and that of other donors, ICRC has launched a special four-year initiative (2013-2016) to strengthen its response to sexual violence, with the intention of improving delivery of services, prevention of sexual violence, and improving the capacity of its staff to respond. The ICRC will also work with States, weapon bearers, and religious and traditional leaders to promote awareness. In this regard, the ICRC has a unique place working in conflict zones, with access to areas inaccessible by many other organizations and with greater credibility in advocating for the protection of civilians, including vulnerable women and girls.
The expected outcomes for this project include: (1) meeting the protection needs of those vulnerable to sexual violence in armed conflict and other situations of violence; (2) armed forces respecting laws and regulations related to sexual violence in armed conflict and facilitating access to assistance for victims; and (3) ICRC staff having the necessary knowledge and tools to analyze and implement responses to assist victims of sexual violence. The expected ultimate outcome is lives saved, suffering alleviated and human dignity maintained in countries experiencing humanitarian crises or acute food insecurity.