New global funding instrument invests in women to accelerate conflict recovery, sustain peace


(New York, 23 February) – A new multi-partner effort will be launched tomorrow to assist the international community to respond to today’s complex peace and security challenges and to direct investment in sustainable peace.

The Global Acceleration Instrument (GAI) for Women, Peace and Security and Humanitarian Action has been established by civil society, the UN and Member States to fill a critical funding gap and to steer resources directly to women’s civil society organizations at the forefront of conflict prevention, conflict resolution and recovery efforts.

The global instrument will be officially launched on 24 February in New York, hosted by the Permanent Missions to the United Nations of Australia, Ireland, Japan, Sierra Leone, Spain and the United Kingdom in partnership with UN Women, the Global Network of Women Peacebuilders and Cordaid.

The event will highlight the impact of women’s civil society organizations on the effectiveness of all peace and security or humanitarian engagements, including in the resolution of conflict, crisis management, peace negotiation, humanitarian and emergency assistance, and building sustainable peace. Women peacebuilders from Burundi, Colombia and Jordan will speak at the event to donors about their work in these three unique contexts; illustrating in real terms the accelerated impacts on sustainable peace achieved through investing in women’s organizations and gender equality.

Soon to be fully operational, the GAI is managed as a multi-partner trust fund of the UN, with UN Women as the secretariat, and donors, civil society and UN partners among the steering body.

The fund aims to stimulate a significant shift in international financing towards women’s participation, leadership and empowerment in crisis response and peace and security settings.

“The Global Acceleration Instrument for Women, Peace and Security and Humanitarian Action is a unique mechanism in which 50 per cent of its funds will go directly to civil society organizations working in conflict affected countries,” said Mavic Cabrera of the Global Network of Women Peacebuilders.

“It will ensure that women’s groups are not only recipients of funding, but they will have a presence at every level of implementation; from the international steering committee, to the national steering committee, and to the organizations carrying out projects in the field. In this way, women will have a say in decision-making on how funds are raised and managed — thus ensuring transparency and accountability,” she said.

In the past year, the United Nations has undertaken three peace and security reviews — on Peace Operations, Peacebuilding Architecture, and Women, Peace and Security. All three have grappled with the difficult questions of unprecedented humanitarian needs, shrinking resources, and new and increasingly complex peace and security challenges.

Alongside these evolving challenges, the reviews reflected a growing and indisputable evidence-base on the impact of women’s participation and leadership on the increased effectiveness of humanitarian assistance and likelihood of sustainable peace. 

“In the immediate aftermath of conflict, we have a brief moment of opportunity to strengthen women’s rights and leadership, and through this, to accelerate recovery and stability. Yet this is precisely the period in which these countries experience a funding gap, with women’s organizations and the critical work they do the most adversely affected,” said Yannick Glemarec, UN Assistant Secretary-General and Deputy Executive Director of UN Women.

As the GAI becomes fully operational, its implementation will prioritize knowledge management and capacity building.

Follow live reporting from the launch on Wednesday, 24 February starting at 8 a.m. ET with the hashtag #AcceleratePeace and follow @UN_Women @GNWP @Cordaid to join the conversation!