This project supports the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in its work to prevent and reduce sexual violence in armed conflicts. Women and girls face increased vulnerability in situations of conflict and displacement, as 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 survivors not only physically but psychologically and socially. For this reason, ICRC has a special initiative 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 also works with States, weapons bearers, religious and traditional leaders, and communities to promote awareness of sexual violence, including awareness of International Humanitarian Law obligations prohibiting sexual violence in armed conflict. The ICRC has a unique role 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) increased access to health and psychosocial services by survivors of sexual violence; (2) increased awareness by authorities, weapons bearers, armed forces, and communities of sexual violence and laws and regulations prohibiting sexual violence in armed conflict; and (3) increased ability of ICRC personnel to effectively respond to sexual violence, including identifying those at risk, providing assistance to survivors, and working with stakeholders to prevent and reduce the risk of sexual violence in armed conflict. The expected ultimate outcome is lives saved, suffering alleviated and human dignity maintained in countries experiencing humanitarian crises or acute food insecurity.