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UAF A&P supports the resilience and resistance of movements led by women and non-binary activists in Asia and the Pacific by co-creating a safe environment for them to sustain their work and thrive. Guided by feminist values, individuals, organisations, and their communities are provided urgent grants and strategic support to strengthen their safety and well-being.
Our mission is to resource the resilience of women and non-binary human rights defenders by strengthening and sustaining webs of security and care. Our strategies are multi-faceted and linked to a transformative agenda of achieving social justice, building a solidarity economy and re-imagining cultures, including the culture of giving in Asia and the Pacific.
Within this flexible framework, we value the ingredients of system change:
Grassroots leadership and community action are crucial and urgent.
We support long-term change efforts by supporting the vision, creativity, and agency of local activists and organisations – not by telling them what they should be doing.
Women and non-binary defenders have a unique contribution to make.
We do not implement programs or projects directly, rather we provide and leverage financial and non-financial resources for activists, movements and movement ecosystems.
Investing in activists’ security is not only a moral imperative, it is critical to social change.
We know that oppressive systems result in violent backlash. The convergence of power amongst government, foreign companies invested in extractive industries, military and security forces has further marginalised communities and increased the vulnerability of defenders.
Funders, politicians, and policymakers play an important role in systemic change. We leverage the power we have as a funder to advocate larger foundations and political and policy circle on behalf of our grantees.
We know that oppressive systems result in violent backlash. The convergence of power amongst government, foreign companies invested in extractive industries, military and security forces has further marginalized communities and increased the vulnerability of defenders.
To learn more about how we approach our work, click here.
The seeds for UAF A&P were sown in 1997, when Asian and Pacific feminists helped to co-create the Urgent Action Fund Women for Human Rights in the United States. The fund was created to support the resilience of women and non-binary human rights defenders globally, during moments of threat or unanticipated advocacy opportunities.
In 2001, Urgent Action Fund (UAF)-Africa was launched in Nairobi, Kenya. Since that time, UAF-Africa has championed and amplified the voices of African defenders and organisations who are seizing opportunities for change. UAF-Africa’s efforts demonstrate the incredible impact of convening defenders and building the leadership capabilities of activists. To date, our sister fund in Africa has supported women and non-binary defenders affiliated with over 700 community-based organisations in 48 African countries.
In 2009, Urgent Action Fund (UAF)-Latin America was founded in Bogota, Colombia, becoming the first women’s fund in the region to offer protection support to defenders and their organisation. Among the sister funds, Latin America has led the way when it comes to at integrating learning, creating intercultural approaches to grant making, and modeling the integrating of wellbeing practices into programmatic work. To date, its grants have supported women and non-binary defenders affiliated with nearly 400 community-based organisations in 19 countries in Central and South America. As the sister funds grew, women and non-binary defenders in Asia and the Pacific began to voice the need for their own regionally-based rapid response fund. In response, Urgent Action Fund undertook a series of listening and engagement meetings with defenders and nearly doubled the financial commitment to the region. Regionally based feminists in Asia and the Pacific were poised to respond in new ways to a changing and challenging context in which defenders and their communities came under threat, and in November 2017, the establishment of Urgent Action Fund – Asia Pacific (UAF A&P) was celebrated in Colombo, Sri Lanka.
To the sister funds, UAF A&P brings learning about how to resource resilient movements, using an emergent learning framework to quickly and thoughtfully track, assess and adapt our programs. UAF A&P is also paving the way by piloting the use of new digital safety tools. Over the past two decades, the growing sisterhood of Urgent Action Funds has protected and advanced the civil, political and social rights of women and non-binary defenders, investing in the resilience of social justice movements, including environmental, feminist, anti-corruption, land rights, peace, youth, and LGBTQIA+ movements. Collectively, the fund has supported women and non-binary human rights defenders affiliated with over 1,500 community-based organisations in over 80 countries in Asia, the Middle East, Europe and North America.