Edward Markey

From the office of:

Edward Markey

From: The Honorable Janice D. Schakowsky
Sent By:
Date: 11/21/2014
Deadline: Wednesday, November 26

Current Signers: (15) Jan Schakowsky, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Gwen Moore, Elliot Engel, Richard Hanna,Bobby L. Rush, Keith Ellison, Mark Pocan, Alcee Hastings, Adam Schiff, Eric Swalwell, William R. Keating, Katherine Clark, Tony Cárdenas, Rubén Hinojosa,

Dear Colleague:

We invite you to join a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry, urging the State Department to include funding for the United Nations Trust Fund to End Violence Against Women in its FY2016 budget request.

The UN Trust Fund has provided over 300 grants in over 130 countries and territories around the world, funding innovative approaches to combat violence against women. Yet it is only able to fund about 1% of the requests it receives.

The United States provided funding for the UN Trust Fund between 2005 and 2010. During these years, the United States’ contribution made up as much as 20% of the Trust Fund’s grants made each year. We believe it is time that we again fund this critically important initiative and renew our contribution to the UN Trust Fund.

We hope that you will join us in writing to Secretary Kerry urging its inclusion in the State Department’s FY2016 budget request.

If you have any questions, please contact Andrew Goczkowski (Schakowsky) at or Sarah Arkin (Wasserman Schultz) at


/s /s
Jan Schakowsky Debbie Wasserman Schultz
Member of Congress Member of Congress

Dear Mr. Secretary:

As the State Department prepares its Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Request, we write to urge you to include funding for the United Nations Trust Fund to End Violence against Women.

As you may know, the UN Trust Fund is the only global multi-donor voluntary fund providing grants to civil society and non-governmental organizations, government entities, and UN Country Teams to support innovative, targeted programs to combat violence against women and girls. These important programs are needed now more than ever as more than 1 in 3 women will experience physical or sexual violence in her lifetime.

Established in 1996, the UN Trust Fund has provided over 300 grants in 132 countries and territories for innovative approaches to combating violence against women. From Afghanistan to Bangladesh to Sudan, the UN Trust Fund works with grantees all over the world who are implementing imaginative new programs to change cultural norms, support and empower survivors, and ensure that institutions are responsive to issues of violence against women.

The United States previously recognized the important work that the UN Trust Fund supports and provided critical funding from 2005 to 2010. During this period, the U.S. contribution to the UN Trust Fund constituted as much as 20 percent of the grants made annually. Unfortunately, with average grant requests of $1 billion each year, the UN Trust Fund is currently able to meet only 1 percent of these requests.

We believe that supporting mechanisms that work prevent and respond to gender-based violence, such as the UN Trust Fund, are a critical step in promoting international development, peace, and security. By reestablishing a U.S. commitment to the UN Trust Fund, the United States would greatly increase the UN Trust Fund’s grant-making capacity and thus increase the number of women it can assist.

At the recent Global Summit to End Sexual Violence in Conflict in London you stated, “We have to speak out loudly and clearly against one of the most persistent and neglected injustices imaginable. And we have to fight to hold the criminals accountability and end the age of impunity. Instead of shaming the survivors, we have to punish the perpetrators. And we must support the victims afterwards as they work to try to rebuild their lives.” We strongly believe reestablishing U.S. support for the UN Trust Fund in in the State Department’s Fiscal Year 2016 Budget Request would help achieve this critical goal.

Thank you for your attention to this important matter.