Secretary of State John KerryWASHINGTON, D.C. /eNewsChannels/ NEWS: U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry announced Monday the provision of $10 million in funding for a new U.S. initiative, Safe from the Start, to prevent and respond to gender-based violence in humanitarian emergencies worldwide. Secretary Kerry emphasized that in the face of conflict and disaster, we should strive to protect women and girls from sexual assault and other violence.

Safe from the Start’s initial commitment of $10 million will allow the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), and other humanitarian agencies and organizations to hire specialized staff, launch new programs, and develop innovative methods to protect women and girls at the onset of emergencies around the world. The United States will also coordinate with other donors and stakeholders to develop a framework for action and accountability to ensure efforts to address gender-based violence are routinely prioritized as a life-saving intervention along with other vital humanitarian assistance.

This initiative builds on the framework established by the U.S. National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security and the U.S. Strategy to Prevent and Respond to Gender-based Violence Globally. It will be led by the State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration (PRM) and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) Bureau of Democracy, Conflict, and Humanitarian Assistance.

As part of the unveiling of the initiative, PRM Assistant Secretary Anne Richard and USAID Assistant Administrator for Democracy, Conflict and Humanitarian Assistance Nancy Lindborg will host a roundtable briefing on Tuesday the 24th with non-governmental and international organization representatives to urge others to make specific commitments as part of the Safe from the Start framework.