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CARE Applauds House Introduction of Safe From the Start Act

Photo: Josh Estey/CARE
Photo: Josh Estey/CARE

WASHINGTON (July 30, 2019) – The global poverty-fighting organization CARE applauds today’s introduction of the Safe from the Start Act (H.R. 4092) in the House of Representatives, a bipartisan bill that will ensure the U.S. prioritizes the needs of women and girls in responding to humanitarian emergencies. This legislation, introduced by Rep. Grace Meng (D-NY), Rep. Chris Stewart (R-UT), Rep. Lois Frankel (D-FL), Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) and Rep. Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA), works specifically to address gender-based violence at the onset of a humanitarian emergency so that its impacts can be prevented or managed early.

“1 in 5 women report experiencing sexual violence in humanitarian emergencies,” said David Ray, vice president of policy and advocacy at CARE. “With the world currently experiencing the largest refugee crises in recorded history – where the majority of displaced people are women and girls – it is critical that the United States make a robust commitment to address gender-based violence in its humanitarian response efforts. The Safe from the Start Act does just that, and we applaud Reps. Meng, Stewart, Frankel, Diaz-Balart and Houlahan for their bipartisan leadership on this critical and timely legislation.”

The Safe from the Start Act will codify and enhance the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development’s (USAID) Safe from the Start initiative, which provides training and support to address gender-based violence (GBV) in humanitarian settings, and will open greater opportunities for local organizations to play a role in protecting and empowering survivors. This bill will also give critical momentum to the U.S. Government’s work to advance prevention and response to GBV globally by making it a priority to address this issue in crisis contexts.

Founded in 1945 with the creation of the CARE Package®, CARE is a leading humanitarian organization fighting global poverty. CARE places special focus on working alongside women and girls because, equipped with the proper resources, they have the power to lift whole families and entire communities out of poverty. That’s why women and girls are at the heart of CARE’s community-based efforts to confront hunger, ensure nutrition and food security for all, improve education and health, create economic opportunity and respond to emergencies. In 2018, CARE worked in 95 countries and reached more than 56 million people around the world.

Nicole Ellis: nicole.ellis@care.org, +1-202-560-1791

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