Contribution to 'Women's Peace and Humanitarian Fund' in Iraq 2021
The Women's Peace and Humanitarian Fund (WPHF) is a flexible and rapid financing mechanism that supports quality interventions to enhance the capacity of women to prevent conflict, respond to crises and emergencies, seize key peacebuilding opportunities, and encourage the sustainability and national ownership of investments. The contribution will support Impact area 3 of the WPHF in Iraq: Enhanced inclusive and gender responsive humanitarian/crisis planning, frameworks, and programming.
A call for proposals (CfP) will be launched with the Austrian contribution. Projects selected via the CfP will directly contribute to at least one of the following key results:
1) Increased participation of women in decision-making in humanitarian and crisis response;
2) Established mechanisms to improve gender responsive humanitarian and crisis planning, frameworks and programming.
Special attention will be given to projects supporting women and girls, and groups with multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination, such as those marginalized and excluded due to poverty, ethnicity, disability, age, geography, migratory status, HIV status, among others, which is in clear alignment with the 2030 Agenda and the principle of leaving no one behind.
Direct beneficiaries include between five and eight women-led and women’s rights CSOs implementing the projects and strengthened through institutional and programmatic funding.
It is estimated that 38,188 women and girls will be directly reached (80% of all beneficiaries), based on the average direct beneficiaries reached in 2020 by previous grantees (this is an estimation and numbers can vary or be higher). Each project under the programmatic funding stream will target an average of 6,000 women and girls directly. Each organization receiving institutional funding targets an average of 15 staff directly.
The number of indirect beneficiaries will vary depending on the type of interventions implemented by the grantee. This includes meaningful participation of groups facing multiple and intersecting forms of discrimination, such as those marginalized and excluded due to poverty, ethnicity, disability, age (youth), migratory status, among others which are in clear alignment with Agenda 2030 of leaving no one behind.
WPHF will provide grants for civil society organizations to implement projects relating to women’s participation and leadership in decision-making in humanitarian and crisis response. Grants can range from 2,500 USD – 200,000 USD through programmatic and institutional support for women-led, women’s rights, youth-led and youth rights civil society organizations.
As per WPHF procedures, the Call for Proposals will be finalized and launched at country level, detailing the nature and scope of the fund and types of interventions that are encouraged. The Call for Proposals will be jointly disseminated by the WPHF Secretariat, WPHF Board members, and the UN Women country office in Iraq.
An open day session will be organized by the WPHF Secretariat and the UN Women Country Office in Iraq. These sessions will help guide and respond to questions from prospective applicants.
The WPHF Secretariat will conduct the technical review of all proposals received and will share the pool of qualified proposals with the WPHF National Steering Committee. The WPHF National Steering Committee will be responsible for the final selection of proposals. The WPHF Secretariat, with the UN Women Country Office as the Management Entity, will ensure quality monitoring and reporting on projects as well as linkages with a wide range of partners from the UN, civil society, and member states.
The grantees selected through this project will also be included in the WPHF’s community of practice to learn from and exchange best practices with other WPHF partners. The WPHF Secretariat will manage the onboarding of new grantees, conduct webinars and capacity building on women, peace and security issues and produce
Over the last few decades, Iraq has experienced a series of armed conflicts coupled with economic sanctions and the erosion of human rights with the presence of terrorist transnational groups, and several waves of displacement. These include the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees who fled the war in Syria, and 6 million Iraqis displaced during the 2014-2017 conflict against ISIL. The popular protests that led to the government’s resignation in late 2019 were disrupted by the COVID-19 outbreak. Despite the existence of a National Action Plan on UNSCR 1325, women and girls remain among the most vulnerable populations in Iraq. They are specific targets of violence, have limited access to public spaces and economic opportunities and are excluded from decision-making and peacebuilding efforts. As a result of international and local efforts to advance the Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda, a second Iraqi National Action Plan on 1325 was adopted in 2020.
Approximately 1.5 million people remain internally displaced (70 per cent of whom have been displaced for more than three years), and it is estimated that there are 1.18 million returnees in Iraq. Iraqi women comprise half of the 39 million population and head one in ten Iraqi households. Over 1.5 million displaced women and girls are subject to violation of their universal human rights and live in harsh circumstances, especially those areas affected by ISIL. Data shows that nearly 2 million women in Iraq are either widowed or divorced, a situation that increases their burden of care and their vulnerability to exploitation and abuse, as well as exacerbates women’s lack of economic opportunities and basic services. Female internally displaced persons (IDPs) and refugees face more restrictions on their safety than men. In the poor living conditions, displaced women and girls experience lack of security, lack of access to facilities, clean water, and sanitation, which makes them more vulnerable. Sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) is prevalent in alarming rates, especially among refugees and IDPs.
Women-led and women’s rights organizations play critical roles as first responders and peacebuilders in fragile settings. However, their work often remains unrecognised and underfunded. More than two decades after UN Security Council resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security (UNSCR 1325), participation of women and women’s organizations remains limited and financial support falls far short of political commitments.
The Women’s Peace and Humanitarian Fund, as the only UN & civil society pooled funding mechanism dedicated to supporting women in contexts of crisis, has significant expertise in supporting women-led and women’s rights organizations. Since its launch in 2016, WPHF has supported 345 civil society organizations that promote the participation of women and girls in 25 countries. WPHF has been active in Iraq – one of its largest overall investment under the WPHF Regular Funding Cycle - since 2018 and has supported 20 projects with 37 CSOs, focusing on preventing conflict, responding to crisis and enabling an environment for Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda implementation.