What’s Important to European Donors?

By Karen Sommer Shalett, PSI

Where government and multilateral donors choose to invest foreign aid has the power to affect tremendous change across the developing world. Among European donors, these have signaled their commitment to girls and women by including them at the forefront of their agendas, providing a path forward for 2016 and beyond.

“Good health helps provide an exit from poverty, yet TB, malaria and HIV/ AIDS threaten the livelihood of millions of women and girls. These diseases can be prevented, controlled and often cured when the best solutions are widely available. Investing in cutting-edge tools to fight disease is our best chance of meeting ambitious global health targets.”

Lelio Marmora, Executive Director, UNITAID, April 14, 2016

“2015 was an important year for girls and women – because we successfully fought for the very first time for that standalone gender goal, Goal 5, in the new Sustainable Development Goals. … Now for the first time ever in 2016 we’ve got key targets on sexual and reproductive health rights, ending FGM and also child marriage, amongst many other things.”

The Rt. Hon. Justine Greening MP, Secretary of State, Department for International Development, “The World Cannot Wait for Women’s Empowerment,” March 8, 2016

“Half of those who are registered by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees are girls and women, who are especially exposed to abuse in war, conflict and when fleeing. Future support must strengthen women’s security in these situations, and women must also be included in peace negotiations and post-conflict reconstruction of their countries.”

Jon Lomoy, Director General, Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD), “Women’s Rights and Gender Equality Report,” December 9, 2015

For Denmark, gender equality is a prime concern. The world has seen great improvements for women and girls. With the Sustainable Development Goals, we now have the duty to ensure that we “leave no one behind.

Kristian Jensen, Minister for Foreign Affairs, Denmark, DANIDA, statement at the 31st Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council, March 1, 2016

“Every time a health program assists a girl to make a powerful, positive decision about her health, or prevents a mother from transmitting HIV to her baby, or protects a young child from malaria or a grown man from tuberculosis, we are adding to the momentum of human opportunity and progress. When girls are given the opportunity to stay in school, and make informed choices that allow them to grow into empowered women, it breeds human progress.”

Mark Dybul, Executive Director, The Global Fund, “Challenges and Opportunities in 2016 Mark Dybul Looks Ahead” in VOICES, January 12, 2016

“Women often become victims twice over. They are already fleeing war and violence, and on top of this they meet with sexual abuse. We must do everything we possibly can to eradicate this terrible problem… This ranges from providing better lighting in refugee camps so that women can make safe toilet visits to teaching people why harassing women and girls is totally unacceptable.”

Lilianne Ploumen, Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Government of the Netherlands, in discussion with UN Women Executive Director Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, January 26, 2016

Photo Credit: Courtesy of PSI

*Research contributions from Noha Zeitoun and Justin Matheson-Turner


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