The Arise Fund supports women leading crisis response around the world. It resources women to prepare for and respond to disasters and provides rapid funding when a crisis hits. It supports women’s leadership in conflict resolution and peace building efforts, and strengthens women’s skills to protect their rights in times of crisis. By ensuring women’s participation in decision making and access to resources in times of crisis, Arise is driving a long term, transformative feminist agenda of gender equality well beyond the emergency.
Women in 3 of the world’s worst disasters have already been supported to lead responses in Somaliland, Haiti, and Nepal.
East Africa Food Crisis - Somaliland
As millions face starvation in East Africa, Arise has supported women’s leadership in Somaliland where 1.5 million people urgently require humanitarian assistance. Women have led in the identification and prioritisation of urgent needs and the distribution of relief, reaching over 65,000 people so far. Support has also enabled women to mobilise and address increased levels of violence against women and girls in drought affected communities, document rights violations and provide referrals to support services.
South Asian Floods – Nepal
Following the heaviest rainfall in Nepal in over 60 years, over half a million people have been displaced since August 2017. Arise has provided rapid funding to support women’s leadership and agency in the emergency response, including supporting 200 women leaders to engage in local Disaster Relief Committees. Over 1000 households have been reached in the first stage of the response, which has focused on food, shelter and hygiene. Funding has also helped prevent increased violence against women in the crisis through the establishment of four women safe spaces in affected communities.
Hurricane Matthew – Haiti
When Hurricane Matthew struck Haiti in 2016, funding was released within 48 hours to support a women-led emergency response. Over 500 women built power through protection training facilitated by ActionAid and local partners. This equipped them to respond to increases in violence against women and to lead the establishment of four women safe spaces in key regions. Over 4000 women were mobilised in the most affected areas to support the immediate response. More than 25,000 people were reached through this initial support and the rapid mobilisation of women’s groups resulted in the inclusion of gender as one of four objectives for UN’s Hurricane Matthew Flash Appeal.
Women in the African Great Lakes Region have had to live through a period of devastating conflict – many experiencing civil war, ethnic hostilities, political instability and genocide. Through Arise, 25 women are currently being supported to strengthen their leadership in conflict resolution and peacebuilding. At the end of the project, women will have increased capacity to protect themselves and other women in their communities from violence, will be able to influence and mobilise around peace and security agendas, and make demands through national alliances and regional platforms.
Women are disproportionately impacted by climate change and related crises as a result of gender inequality in access to power and resources. Across Cambodia, Kenya and Vanuatu, Arise is supporting women to lead in climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction in their communities as well as international forums. Through this work, women are empowered to take collective action to influence policy and decision making on climate change and related crises, and have increased capacity and knowledge to prepare for and respond to its gendered impacts.
A women-led approach to protection means that women are empowered to lead the protection of their rights in emergencies - drawing on their existing capacities and networks. To strengthen this approach around the world, 18 participants from 13 countries were brought together at a global protection training to skill up in how to support women to protect their rights in emergencies. Participants from Bangladesh, Fiji, Greece, India, Kenya, Malawi, Nepal, Sierra Leone, Pakistan, Palestine, Philippines, the UK and Australia learned how to develop women-led community based protection action plans to prevent and respond to the risks women face in times of crisis. Women from local organisations in Somaliland have also been supported to lead protection work in their communities, through a 4 day protection training run in September 2017.
Movement building is core to the Arise Fund’s transformative agenda to achieve gender equality by supporting women to demonstrate the power and potential of their leadership well beyond the time of crisis. As part of this goal, ARISE has supported ActionAid Australia to work in collaboration with FemLINKpacific, Pacific Disability Forum and Pacific Community (SPC) in the ‘Shifting the Power Coalition. This coalition supports local women to build power, shifting it away from traditional international humanitarian structures. Pacific women’s leadership in emergencies will be strengthened through technical training, network building, and advocacy.
Through DFAT’s Gender Action Platform and Australian NGO Cooperation Program, ARISE is partnering with the Australian Aid Program to scale up support for women’s leadership in response to disasters and conflict in Cambodia, Kenya and Vanuatu and to pilot a multi-country project in the Great Lakes Region to support women’s leadership in peace building.