Tsunami in the Solomon Islands

Dear Sisters in the Solomon Islands,

The Board and staff of Global Fund for Women would like to express  our deep sadness about the destruction and loss of life that has  resulted from the tsunami that affected the Solomon Islands on April  1, 2007.  Through the press, radio and communications from our  network, we have learned of the loss of lives and physical  devastation.  The Global Fund for Women is writing to express our  solidarity with you during this difficult time.  We do not know to  what extent you have been affected by the tsunami.  We can only hope  that you, your friends, relatives, and colleagues are safe.  Please  send us an e-mail, if you can, to let us know how you are.

As you know, Global Fund's main objective as a funding agency is to  strengthen women's organizing and women's groups.  Our mission is to  support long-term efforts to advance the human rights of women and  girls.  Global Fund for Women is not a relief organization and does  not have the capacity to provide direct aid in emergency situations.   Instead, we are committed to ensuring that women's rights groups can  count on our support to help them continue to be a voice for women's  rights and gender equality in their communities for years to come.   In our commitment to support the rebuilding of women's lives and  organizations, part of our long-term grantmaking activities will  focus on promoting sustainable development within a gender and human  rights framework.  In the coming months we will be preparing  ourselves as an organization to take on this much needed work in the  affected areas.

At this time, we have sent solidarity letters to grantees in the  affected areas, expressing our concern and outlining our grantmaking  abilities.  We encourage groups with open grants from Global Fund to  use the funds for whatever activities they believe are most critical  at this time.  In the coming months, we will be accepting grant  applications to address the gender-specific needs in rebuilding and  reorganizing communities affected by the devastation.

When you can spare the time, we would like to ask for your advice on  the best way to support women and girls in the affected islands.   Please send us your thoughts on the situation of women and girl  survivors and tell us what kinds of support Global Fund should  prioritize in its long-term response to the recent tsunami.  Also, if  there is anything else you feel we should be doing, please let us know.

With all of our solidarity,

Shalini Nataraj
Vice President for Programs/Evaluation

Dechen Tsering
Program Officer for Asia/Oceania

Naishin Fu
Program Associate for Asia/Oceania

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