EU-UN Spotlight Initiative allocated 15 Small Grants to Central Asian NGOs

ALMATY – Today the Small Grants launch event within the Pillar VI of the Spotlight Initiative Regional Programme for Central Asia and Afghanistan was held.

15 representatives of grant recipient organizations from Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan presented their activities and upcoming events.

The total grant budget is over USD 409,000.

The grants are intended to finance a limited range of eligible activities to support the development and strengthening of a CSO’s institutional capacity, with a focus on prevention and elimination of gender-based violence within the context of COVID-19, including domestic violence and sexual harassment at the workplace.

Addressing the audience UN Resident Coordinator for Kazakhstan Michaela Friberg-Storey noted: “Civil society organizations, including women’s rights and small grassroots organizations, are essential development actors since they not only advance referral systems and linkages between communities and the institutional services across sectors, but also render comprehensive services themselves to persons subjected to all forms of violence and discrimination”.

The COVID-19 crisis is limiting access to justice for survivors as state institutions scale down operations. Health services for survivors are hampered as overwhelmed health systems shift focus. Movement restrictions are disrupting the ability of civil society organizations to support survivors, much less provide critical lifesaving services.

Civil society continues to be on the frontline of the global response to violence against women during the pandemic. It is imperative that these organizations are appropriately funded to leave no women and girls behind. Grassroots women’s rights organizations are at the heart of the Spotlight Initiative. To attain this ambitious goal, a comprehensive approach and an effective co-operation and partnerships among all key actors are required. The success of the Spotlight Initiative will not be possible without the full engagement of the governments and civil society in Central Asia and Afghanistan”, - noted Johannes Stenbaek Madsen, Head of Cooperation at the EU Delegation to Kazakhstan.

The Spotlight Initiative is demonstrating that a significant, concerted and comprehensive investment in gender equality and ending violence can make a transformative difference in the lives of women and girls. It is important to note that 50% of the Initiative’s global funds have been budgeted for civil society organizations.

15 selected grantees will be able to introduce and improve their organizational systems, tools, and processes to respond to domestic violence within the COVID-19 context. Their capacities will be strengthened through rendering comprehensive services, development of guidelines, manuals and other knowledge products on, among others, effective service provision and rehabilitation; conducting analysis, research and legal reviews pertaining to sexual and gender-based violence with further recommendations”, - emphasized UN Women Representative to Kazakhstan Maria Dotsenko.

The grants were awarded to 5 organizations from Kazakhstan: Kaysar Public Foundation, Doktor S.N. Public Foundation, Public Movement Against Violence “” Public Foundation, Centr razvitiya i socialnoi pomoschi naseleniyu “Moi Dom” Public Association, Zhartas Kazakhstan Public Foundation;

3 organizations from Kyrgyzstan: Rehabilitation Center Kaniet Public Foundation, Pozitivnyi dialog Public Foundation, Tendesh Public Organization;

3 organizations from Tajikistan: Mumtoz Public Organization, Lojvar Public Organization, World of Law Public Organization

4 organizations from Uzbekistan: NIHOL Initiative’s Development and Supporting Center, Fergana Regional branch of the Centre of citizens’ initiatives support, Istiqbol Women's Center of the Khorezm region, Kalb Nuri Centre.



The Spotlight Initiative (SI) is a global, multi-year partnership between European Union and United Nations to eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls by 2030. In Central Asia and Afghanistan the Spotlight Initiative is addressing legislative and policy gaps, strengthening institutions, promoting gender-equitable attitudes, and providing quality services for survivors. Interventions are also strengthening systems for collecting data on violence against women and girls and women’s movements. The Initiative joins existing efforts and complements the work of regional institutions and diverse partners. Find out more on

For more details, please contact Ms. Vassilina Vorkova, Communications Officer of the Spotlight Initiative Regional Programme for Central Asia and Afghanistan: +7 707 705 0025,

Elnura Abakanova, Communications Officer, EU Delegation to Kazakhstan, email:

UN entities involved in this initiative
United Nations Resident Coordinator Office
UN Women
United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women
United Nations Development Programme
United Nations Population Fund
Other entities involved in this initiative
European Commission - Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development