To ensure the vulnerable are not exploited and that all those who are receiving aid from humanitarian agencies are safeguarded is a cornerstone for URDA’s Relief sector.
In addition to the policies implemented in the sector to ensure this, we have taken part in a unique project, “Empowered Aid project “ in partnership with CARE and GWI. It is a multi-year, multi-country participatory action research project led by the Global Women’s Institute with operational partners CARE and URDA in Lebanon and International Rescue Committee, and World Vision in Uganda. Working alongside women and girls—as those most affected by SEA and other forms of gender-based violence—the study examines the mechanisms through which humanitarian aid is delivered, and how these processes might inadvertently increase the risks of SEA, to better address these risks. Its goal is to support the creation or adaptation of aid delivery models that actively work to reduce power disparities and give women and girls a sustained voice in how aid is delivered.
Empowered Aid’s findings demonstrate how a distribution system that does not meet women and girls’ needs for food, WASH, fuel/firewood, cash, and shelter materials in safer ways inadvertently opens up space for exploitation and abuse by aid as well as non-aid actors. The reports and briefs on this page detail these findings further and contain targeted recommendations for humanitarian actors—including government and donors—to take forward.