DFA Logo

This content from the
Department of Foreign Affairs
has moved to Ireland.ie/irish-aid. If you are not redirected in 5 seconds, click here.

Skip to main content

This content from the Department of Foreign Affairs has moved to Ireland.ie/irish-aid

Minister Costello announces €1m to protect women and girls from violence

Emergencies, Gender, Budget/funding, News/feature, Africa, Ireland, Global, 2014


Minister for Trade and Development Joe Costello today announced €1 million in funding to tackle violence against women and girls during conflicts or natural disasters. 

Minister Costello said:  “Rape is often used in emergency and conflict situations to terrorise the population, break up families and destroy communities.  Almost without exception, there is an increase in gender-based-violence during and after natural and man-made disasters and crises.

“The UN estimates that at least 200,000 women and girls rape in the Democratic Republic of the Congo have been the victim of rape since 1998.

“Violence prevents girls and women from reaching their potential and impoverishes individual women, their families and whole societies. The prevention of and response to violence against women and girls is in itself a life-saving action which needs to be an essential part of every humanitarian operation.

The funding is being provided to the International Rescue Committee from Irish Aid’s Emergency and Recovery budget.

Minister Costello attended the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict in London last month, which was co-hosted by Angelina Jolie, Special Envoy of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and William Hague, UK Foreign Secretary.

The Minister said: “At the Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict I called for action. Gender based violence is the most pervasive - yet least recognised - human right abuse in the world. Today, through our partnership with the International Rescue Committee, we are again turning our global commitments into concrete actions to ensure that women and girls can reach their full potential and live a life free from fear.”




Notes for the Editor

  • Irish Aid is the Government’s programme of overseas assistance. It is managed by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
  • The International Rescue Committee is a global network which has its headquarters in New York and London. The IRC was founded in 1933 and is one of the world’s leading humanitarian and post-conflict development agencies currently working in 40 countries worldwide. It is a global leader in women’s protection and empowerment with extensive experience of GBV programming in conflict and post-conflict settings.  
  • In November 2013, Ireland committed to progressively increasing funding to the protection of women and girls in emergency and recovery contexts over the coming three years. In addition, Ireland committed to providing financial resources to ensure that gender, and sexual- and gender-based violence issues are addressed in every humanitarian operation.
  • It is approximated that worldwide up to 70 per cent of women experience violence in their lifetime.
  • UN agencies estimate that more than 60,000 women were raped during the civil war in Sierra Leone (1991-2002), more than 40,000 in Liberia (1989-2003), up to 60,000 in the former Yugoslavia (1992-1995), and at least 200,000 in the Democratic Republic of the Congo since 1998.
  • Between 250,000 and 500,000 women were raped during the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.