UN support for victims of torture in funding crisis
Efforts by the United Nations to assist victims of torture rebuild their lives are on the verge of grinding to a halt due to lack of funding. The UN Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture says support it receives from UN member states has been on a steady decline over the past four years.
Patrick Maigua reports from Geneva.
The Fund says voluntary donations from UN member states have dropped from an all time high of 12 million dollars in 2008 to just over 9 million dollars in 2010.
This year the fund has received over 320 grant applications for a total of 22 million dollars. Mercedes Doretti who chairs the fund says support for the approved projects will be cut by between 10 and 20 per cent.
She says programmes in more than 70 countries which offer psychological, medical and legal support to victims of torture were on the verge of grinding to a halt.
She says support is needed to continue projects in the Democratic Republic of Congo assisting victims of sexual violence, in Rwanda to help survivors of the genocide and in Southern Iraq to provide reconstructive surgery to dozens of victims of punitive ear amputation, a brutal method of torture used under the Sadaam Hussein regime.
The UN Voluntary Fund for Victims of Torture was established by General Assembly in 1981 to provide humanitarian assistance to victims of torture and members of their family.
Patrick Maigua United Nations Radio Geneva.