2012 A landmark year for the Emergency Fund!

Fonds d'Urgence 2012

The Emergency Fund for Human Rights Defenders in Danger experienced a significant increase in takeup in 2012. Last year sixty nine activists drew upon the emergency fund – that’s 29 more than in 2011 – amounting to a total of 93 000 euros in aid – three times that dispensed in 2011.

Since its creation in 1999, the emergency fund has aided 370 human rights defenders and mobilised more than 350 000 Euros from donors worldwide. The initial goal of the fund was very precise: to provide emergency aid to human rights defenders in high-risk situations or faced with the threat of persecution or violence. Today, the emergency fund has become much more than this. It has become an integral part of AEDH’s identity, a concrete manifestation of our mission: solidarity with those who fight for a more just world.

The emergency fund could not function efficiently were it not for close collaboration with our partners and contacts on the ground, who help us to verify information and to put support mechanisms in place. And it wouldn’t have been possible to develop the fund without the financial support of the organisations that contributed to it, especially over the past year.

In 2012, 69 human rights defenders received emergency support in Colombia, Equatorial Guinea, Mauritania, Uzbekistan, DRC, Togo and Zimbabwe. Twenty eight of them were women. The total number of beneficiaries of the fund including family members who also received support, was 169 (65 more than in 2011). The consequent increase in direct financial assistance to human rights defenders and their families saw the total amount dispensed by the fund triple from 2011 to 2012, from 30 032 to 93 058 Euros.

The activist’s particular needs dictate how the emergency fund will work for him or her. No two activists receive the same kind of support and an individual often receives several different kinds. In 2012, the emergency fund was used to fulfill 48 requests for safety. It was employed 45 times to provide subsistence to an activist and/or his or her family, and 16 times to pay for an activist’s medical care after an episode of violence. The fund aided four activists in their legal pursuits, including in two cases their relocation to France due to the seriousness of the threats. There were seven cases in which the fund provided “exceptional support”, generally a grant to assure an education for the children of an activist forced to live at a distance from their family. Twelve “advocacy activities” were carried out in the context of the fund.

All these donations demonstrate the continued importance of the fund, but can’t fully speak of the bravery of the activists whom we strive to help. Behind these numbers, there are the men and women who put their security – and sometimes their lives – in jeopardy for the sake of their cause: the defense of human rights and the dignity of us all.

Florianne Yvon

The Emergency Fund of Agir Ensemble pour les Droits de l'Homme is supported by:  Union Européenne ( EuropAid)

Europaid

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