Irish aid reaching flooded Syrian refugee camps in Lebanon
Irish charity Concern Worldwide has distributed aid to hundreds of Syrian refugee families whose tented homes were flooded during heavy rains in northern Lebanon.
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A report by a consortium of Irish aid agencies to examine gender based violence (GBV) and the experience of Syrian refugee women will be launched today in New York by Ireland’s ambassador to the United Nations, Geraldine Byrne Nason.
The report, ‘In Violence we forget who we were,’ was produced by the Irish Consortium on Gender Based Violence (ICGBV), which is currently chaired by Dominic MacSorley, the chief executive of Concern Worldwide.
It will be launched at the 63rd Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), a branch of the UN that promotes gender equality and the empowerment of women.
“We know that conflict and displacement leads to an intensification of violence directed against women and girls and responding to GBV in crisis is an urgent need. Our report examines how addressing GBV can be effectively incorporated into large-scale humanitarian responses,” said Mr MacSorley, who is attending the CSW event as chair of the ICGBV.
“Lebanon, a country the size of Munster, but with a population size similar to Ireland, is now hosting an estimated 1.5 million Syrian refugees. The humanitarian response plan in Lebanon is immense.
“However, this report shows that even within a very daunting context such as the Syrian crisis, when you prioritise responding to gender based violence, you can greatly help those who have experienced terrible trauma.
“Holistic, well-resourced programmes can enable women and girls to regain their confidence and achieve a level of empowerment that they may have never thought possible.
“We at the ICGBV, which brings together Irish humanitarian and development organisations, together with Irish Aid and the Defence Forces, are very grateful to Ireland’s ambassador to the UN, Geraldine Byrne Nason, for launching our report at this important gathering.”
The report calls for gender based violence response programmes to be not only “survivor centred, but survivor led” to ensure needs are responded to effectively, and for donors and international non-governmental organisations to increase their support for local organisations and women’s groups.
It recommends that the 63rd CSW adopt conclusions that explicitly address the intersection between gender based violence and their priority theme for this year, particularly survivors’ access to essential quality public services.
The report also urges UN member states to fulfil their 2030 commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goal 5, regarding gender equality, and it calls for action on gender based violence during humanitarian emergencies.
The ICGBV’s report can be accessed at http://www.gbv.ie/new-report-in-violence-we-forget-who-we-were/.
For more information or for any requests to interview Dominic MacSorley, please contact Concern Worldwide Communications Officer, Kevin Jenkinson at 086 358 2886 or at [email protected].