NEW YORK, SEPTEMBER 27 – Italy joined a roster of countries which have either announced or are already contributing to the UN Trust Fund in Support of Victims of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse by UN personnel. Albania, Bangladesh, Canada, Luxembourg, Nigeria, Pakistan, Portugal, Sri Lanka and Switzerland have also recently committed to provide contributions joining Bhutan, Cyprus, India, Japan and Norway which have already contributed to the Trust Fund, the UN Department of Field Support announced today.
These contributions reinforce the Secretary-General’s clear commitment to putting the rights and dignity of victims first. With the most recent contributions, the total amount available to the Trust Fund from voluntary contributions by Member States will rise to approximately $1.5 million dollars, almost a third of it thanks to the Italian contribution. This includes $102 thousand dollars which have been made available from withheld payments to troop and police contributors as a result of substantiated allegations of sexual exploitation and abuse. Projects to provide specialized services for victims and to strengthen community-based complaint reception networks will be implemented in the Democratic Republic of Congo using the funds. Home to the United Nations‘ largest and most expensive mission, Congo had the highest number of abuse and exploitation allegations since 2004. Of the roughly 2,000 complaints made against the U.N. worldwide, more than 700 came from the resource-rich African country.. Other projects are being identified in Central African Republic, Liberia and Haiti.
Under-Secretary-General for Field Support Mr Atul Khare expressed his deep gratitude to those who have contributed, stating “the interest in the Trust Fund in Support of Victims of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse is a powerful indication of the vital support and partnership of the Member States in this critical area. We encourage all Member States to consider making a donation.” (@OnuItalia)