Humanitarian action and disaster risk reduction: 2020 annual report

Escalating conflicts, protracted displacement crises, and the increasing frequency and intensity of climate-related disasters coupled with the pandemic left record numbers of people in need of assistance in 2020. Alongside unprecedented needs, growing backlash against gender equality and women’s empowerment in many parts of the world, and widening gender inequalities across every sphere from livelihoods to protection have severely affected the ability of women and girls to survive, receive life-saving assistance, and recover from crisis shocks. 

Against this backdrop of exponential needs and tremendous challenges, UN Women scaled up its efforts to support women and girls experiencing, and at-risk of, multifaceted crises with the COVID-19 pandemic and increasing climate-related disasters aggravating pre-existing humanitarian crises. UN Women adapted to new realities imposed by the pandemic by maintaining the focus on gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls in humanitarian and disaster contexts as responses were rapidly ramped up; finding innovative ways to amplify the voices of women and girls; continuing to provide humanitarian services amid lockdowns; and addressing key barriers to delivering disaster preparedness and response in the context of the pandemic. 

This annual report details key results UN Women achieved in 2020 in the areas of humanitarian action and disaster risk reduction in collaboration with UN and civil society partners. UN Women is grateful to the donors acknowledged in the report for their support in advancing gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls in some of the world’s most challenging settings.

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