I welcome ActionAid’s commitment to addressing Violence Against Women and Girls (VAWG). Ending the global scandal of VAWG is a top priority for the Department for International Development (DFID). I am proud of the leadership that the UK has shown on tackling VAWG globally. DFID has nearly doubled its programming to address this issue in humanitarian contexts: rising from 64 programmes in 2012, it now has 127 programmes tackling this abuse in its many forms, including prevention of, and response to, domestic violence, acid attacks, FGM and child, early and forced marriage.
For example, the UK has committed £6 million to the UN Trust Fund to End Violence Against Women, which specialises in providing grants for small women’s and civil society organisations to tackle violence. In 2015 the Fund reached over 1 million people.
The UK’s £36 million programme to end Child, Early and Forced Marriage is helping thousands of girls and the Government has also committed £8 million to support AmplifyChange, an initiative to support civil society activists to end child marriage and address a broader range of gender issues.
I am proud that the recent Independent Commission for Aid Impact review into DFID’s efforts to eliminate violence against women and girls gave DFID’s performance a ‘Green’ rating, which is the highest mark.
I hope this reassures you that the Government is committed prioritising girls and women, including tackling VAWG, and that it will continue to pursue an ambitious agenda in this area.