VIENNA, OCTOBER 2 – Following the one million donation from the government of Italy to the UN Trust Fund for Victims of trafficking, the Executive Director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) Yury Fedotov expressed today “his warmest thanks to Italy and the other countries who have so generously given money to the Fund”.
Mr. Fedotov said: “Donations are the Trust Fund’s lifeblood. So far, they have helped thousands of victims around the world. We will now pour every single cent of this new funding into helping the victims of today become tomorrow’s survivors.” Fedotov added that, although the funding was extremely welcome, the Trust Fund remained under-capitalized and needed additional contributions to support trafficking victims. “I would invite other countries to come forward and to continue this positive trend. The victims desperately need our support,” said Mr. Fedotov.
The Trust Fund has helped victims in countries across the world to escape the terrible experiences of the past and to begin new lives. In Nepal, the survivor-led organization Shakti Samuha, used Trust Fund aid to provide 600 survivors with vocational training, counselling and legal support. Albania’s Different and Equal non-profit organization, with support from the Trust Fund, provided 300 women, children and men with temporary accommodation, and medical and psychological assistance.
Most of the pledges, totalling nearly US$1.5 million, were made during the high-level meeting at the UN General Assembly to assess the Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons that established the UN Trust Fund in 2010. In his own speech during the opening of the high-level meeting, Mr. Fedotov joined the President of the UN General Assembly Miroslav Lajcák, and the UN Secretary-General António Guterres, in appealing for greater support for the Trust Fund.
Aside from the US$1 million pledged by the Italian government, Denmark pledged US$160,000, and Sweden and the United Arab Emirates both pledged US$100,000. Other pledges were made by Switzerland, Qatar, Belarus, Cyprus, Austria, Sri Lanka, Kazakhstan, the Philippines, Singapore and Israel. (@OnuItalia)