USAID Announces New Investments to Prevent and Respond to Gender-Based Violence in Environmental Programs

Press Release Shim

Speeches Shim

For Immediate Release

Wednesday, June 17, 2020
Office of Press Relations
Telephone: +1.202.712.4320 | Email:

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) recently announced the selection of five winners of the Resilient, Inclusive, and Sustainable Environments (RISE) Challenge. All five activities are designed to address gender-based violence (GBV) in environmental programs and generate evidence on promising interventions. The winners will receive a total of $1.2 million in grants from USAID to implement and test solutions in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the Republics of Colombia, Fiji, and Uganda.

Through the RISE Challenge, the Agency will award grants to the following:

  1. Association pour la sauvegarde des enfants et des femmes abandonnées (ASEFA, or Action to Protect Women and Abandoned Children), a local Congolese organization that will work in collaboration with the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative (HHI), to address GBV and the environmental degradation associated with artisanal mining in Eastern DRC; and
  2. The Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM), which will work in collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Development Lab (MIT D-Lab), to introduce activities to prevent and respond to GBV into an ongoing project that increases socio-economic opportunities for women miners while reducing environmental impact in Colombia.

USAID is proud to announce that both ASEFA and ARM are new partners that are receiving funding from the Agency for the first time.

Additionally, the Agency will award grants to three established USAID partners:

  1. Marstel-Day will work in collaboration with Women Influencing Health, Education, and Rule of Law (WI-HER) to tackle natural resource conflict as part of the Government of Fiji's Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) program. REDD+ will focus on addressing GBV, women's livelihoods, gaps and barriers in gender and social inclusion, and institutional and legal challenges.
  2. Trócaire, working in collaboration with the Land Equity Movement of Uganda (LEMU) and the Soroti Catholic Diocese Integrated Development Organization (SOCADIDO), will aim to implement a proven methodology to train community members and partner staff; document women's land rights; develop and implement an gender-integrated approach that addresses power imbalances between men and women; and improve land rights in Uganda.
  3. Women for Women International (WfWI), working in collaboration with Innovation and Training for Development and Peace (IFDP), will improve women's access to land and GBV referral systems in the DRC.

USAID, through our Office of Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment in the Bureau for Economic Growth, Education, and the Environment, aims to incentivize partnerships between organizations that are working on the environment and on equality between women and men and women's empowerment. The Agency works to fund promising approaches that address GBV in programs that focus on the access, use, control, and management of natural resources.

About the RISE Challenge

Launched on August 15, 2019, USAID's RISE Challenge: 1) Spurs greater awareness on the intersection between environmental conservation and GBV; 2) Tests and measures approaches in environmental programming that address GBV; 3) Shares evidence of effective interventions and policies; and, 4) Amplifies the linkage between environmental conservation and GBV to attract commitments from other organizations.

To learn more about the connection between the environment and GBV, see Gender-Based Violence and Environment Linkages: The Violence of Inequality, a newly published research paper commissioned by USAID and written by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).