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Last Updated 8th February 2023.

Gender Based Violence (GBV) is quite different from other sectors analysed on the site. Gender Based Violence (as well as Child Protection, Mine Action, and Housing Land and Property) has been / is considered as a subset of the broader Protection sector. The technical language for this is that it has been an ‘Area of Responsibility’ (or AoR) of Protection. What this has meant is that Gender Based Violence has not traditionally had the visibility of other sectors. In previous years, it was not given prominence in Humanitarian Response Plans, and it was also not disaggregated in the Financial Tracking Service (FTS).

The 2019 ‘Where is the Money‘ report, which examines GBV funding, notes that, “[it] is only relatively recently, in 2016, that GBV became a stand-alone sector within OCHA’s Financial Tracking Service (FTS), and it is still often hidden under wider budgetary allocations for ‘Protection’. This lack of transparency undermines efforts to track actual investments in GBV prevention and response and hold the humanitarian sector accountable for its commitments”.

Given the historic unreliability of FTS for tracking GBV funding flows, we will only examine funding from 2018 onwards.

How much funding is the Gender Based Violence sector forecast to receive in 2022?

Funding to the Gender Based Violence (GBV) sector is forecast to be between $162m and $203m in 2022. Our central estimate is $180m. For reference, the GBV sector received $209m last year.

This forecast is based on our 95% probability range. In other words, we are 95% sure that funding will be between $162m and $203m. Below are the other forecast ranges for the GBV sector. As we become less sure about our forecast, the range narrows. So for example, we think there’s a 50% probability that funding will be between $173m and $187m.

But we need to put this into context. What does the forecast mean in terms of reaching the funding that is required for the sector (also known as the funding requirement)? The total funding requirement globally is determined by how much is needed in each context. Given that we don’t have the information yet we have projected the funding required for 2022 and compared that to the funding forecast. If you hover over the donut below you’ll be able to see the chances of reaching 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100% of the funding that is required.

We think that there’s only a remote chance that the GBV sector will reach 25% of their requirement in 2022, let alone 50% of the funding requirement.

How does the 2022 forecast compare to previous years?

The graph above shows that since 2018 there has been a clear (and non-trivial) funding requirement for the GBV sector. Comparatively, funding received into the GBV sector pre-2018 was very low (around $3m), which does not reflect the state of the sector.

Our forecast puts the GBV sector as receiving somewhere between 17% and 29% of the funding requirement. Since 2018, the funding that is required to meet Gender Based Violence needs has grown exponentially. The sector needed $146m to meet humanitarian needs in 2018, compared to the requirement in 2022 of $945m.

This may be as a result of the growing disaggregation of Gender Based Violence needs in Response Plans and FTS. In other words, the number of contexts clearly saying ‘this is what we need for GBV’ has grown, as they are encouraged to separate it from the overall Protection number.

Similarly, funding to the sector has increased year-on-year. In 2021, $209m of GBV funding was received – almost double the $109m received in 2020. The same caveat as above applies here. Organisations reporting GBV funding may be disaggregating more of their GBV funding from the overall Protection funding in FTS.

Whilst the growing visibility of the sector may be driving the funding requirement and the funding received, it has now been three years since the data has become more reliable, which is a significant amount of time. So what can we say about the funding gap in 2020? The funding gap increased in 2021 in percentage terms and in real monetary terms: it rose from $99m in 2018, to $537m in 2021, or 72% of the funding requirement.

One caveat to this is that the funding required for GBV grew faster, year-on-year, than any other sector in the 2018 to 2021 period, at 72%. This is then followed by Child Protection which had a funding requirement growth of 65% year-on-year in the same period. For reference, the average sector’s funding requirement grew at 25% during that period.

The same is true for funding received. Funding received grew at 65%, whilst the average sector grew at 11% during the same period.

Both of these observations suggest that the funding requirement and the funding received are in part driven by the growing visibility of GBV as a distinct sector. Both (a) the margin at which GBV funding and funding requirement are growing versus other sectors, and (b) the fact that Child Protection has experienced a very similar path over the same period, suggest that growing ‘AoR’ visibility may be, at least in part, pushing the increase.

One key question going forward into 2021, though, is will there be a funding gap? We’ve defined in this story a ‘real humanitarian recession’ as two consecutive years of a growing funding gap.

We think that there’s a remote chance that the GBV sector will experience real growth this year, and therefore we think it’s almost certain that the sector will go into a real humanitarian recession.

How does the 2022 forecast compare to other sectors?

The GBV sector is forecast to rank 13th of all humanitarian sectors for funding received in 2022, just behind Child Protection in 12th.

The current state of things

One key feature of the above graph is that the year-on-year increase is clearly observable. Funding to the GBV sector in 2021 ($211m) was almost double the 2020 level ($109m). At all points in 2020, the funding to the GBV sector was above the levels of the previous two years.

Trends tend not to be observable, however, until Q2 at the earliest, and in the case of 2021 it was not possible to tell if GBV would follow the same trajectory as 2020 until September. We previously thought that there may have been spikes in the last months of the year to lift the 2022 number. However, it now looks like that the sector is tracking 2020 levels and 2021 was an aberration.

Features of the Gender Based Violence sector in 2021

We prayed last year that “hopefully the number of contexts with a disaggregated funding requirement on FTS grows in the coming years”, and it definitely did. The above graph shows 42 contexts that had a clearly disaggregated funding requirement for GBV. When writing this section last year, the equivalent number was 10.

The average GBV response was funded at only 25% of what was required in 2021. Whilst this sounds low in isolation, this actually benchmarks just above average when compared to other sectors (the average sector had an equivalent percentage of 24%). There are eight clear success stories where funding exceeded 50% of the funding requirement: these include the Ukraine HRP (460%), the Rohingya response in Bangladesh (83%), Myanmar (79%), Kenya Flash Appeal (76%), Honduras and Iraq (73%), the Madagascar Flash Appeal (54%), the Syria RRP (51%), and the Syria HRP (50%). At the other end of the spectrum, there were four contexts did not record a single dollar of funding – interestingly three of these contexts were in Central America.

One question that comes to mind is why are there such huge inequities in funding across contexts? Is it underreporting, donor preferences, the size of the funding requirement, or something else? We are going to come up with an ‘Inequity Index’ to measure how unequal the sector is and benchmark it against other sectors, to try to explain why there may be inequity in where the funding goes. Stay tuned in the Stories section for this.

GBV is quite a distinct sector in that no donor gives more than 10% of overall funding. The top donor to the GBV sector in 2021 was the Government of the USA (9%), followed by the Governments of Canada (9%), UK (8%), Japan (8%), and Norway (8%). There were, in total, 60donors to the sector in 2021.

We expected there to be an increase in GBV funding in 2021 due to the Biden administration reinstating funding to UNFPA after the the US Government has withheld funding from 2016 to 2020 to the largest agency in the GBV sector. Note this was due to the Trump Administration’s implementation of an expanded “global gag rule”. Yet, whilst US Government funding did increase by $13m, this was only responsible for a fraction of the increase in funding. A range of other donors in 2021 increased their funding to the sector beyond 2020 levels. These include: the Governments of Japan ($17m to $18m total), UK ($16m to $18m total), UNFPA ($10m to $13m total), Canada ($10m to $18m total), Australia ($8m to $9m total), and ECHO ($6m to $11m total)

The sector as a whole is very diverse. 21 donors contributed a combined 80% of all funding. The diversity of the sectors suggests that it may well be resilient to external shocks. If one donor suffers a short term shock to funding, there may be enough other sources of funding for the sector as a whole not to suffer. We can calculate the diversity of the sector using the Herfindahl Hirschman Index. On a scale of 0 to 10,000, a sector is unconcentrated and competitive with a score under 1,500. The GBV sector has a score of 466 indicating an unconcentrated sector.

The sector is, however, less diverse when looking at who receives funding. UNFPA receives 59% of all GBV funding, followed by UNHCR (8%), and WFP (6%). Together, these three UN agencies receive nearly $3 in every $4 spent in the GBV sector. There are another 44 organisations that also receive GBV funding, and 16 of these received over $1m in GBV funding in 2021.

2021 Forecast

Last year’s forecast can’t yet be judged against what the reality was as the 2021 numbers aren’t ‘final’ yet, despite it being 2022 already. It varies year-to-year, but there is still a non-trivial amount of funding that is logged after the end of the year. Therefore, we can’t really judge last year’s forecast until some point later in 2022. It’s at this point that we’ll do a post-mortem on our 2021 forecasts and see how well we did.


The usual health warning: FTS doesn’t capture everything. It is a platform that relies on voluntary reporting by organisations. But it is the most comprehensive source of data for humanitarian funding.

For forecast methodology, click here. We’ll be keeping a record of all our forecasts and success over time, which you can find here.

To find out methodology and sources for other things on this page which aren’t the forecast, click here.

Note: Numbers in ‘The current state of things’ graph may differ from elsewhere on the page as the data was extracted on a different date (13th January 2022) than other numbers that also show how much was received in 2022 (e.g. the column chart).