UN Women, UNEP and Sweden Renew Commitment to Support Women’s Resilience to Disasters and Climate Change


[from left] Dechen Tsering (UNEP Asia-Pacific Regional Director), AnnaMaria Oltorp (Head of Regional Development Cooperation for Asia and the Pacific, the Embassy of Sweden in Bangkok), and Sarah Knibbs (UN Women Asia-Pacific Regional Direct a.i.). Photo: UN Women/Trisha Albay

Bangkok, Thailand — The impacts of climate change, environmental degradation and disasters are unequally felt across the Asia-Pacific region. Women and marginalized groups have less access to information, resources, finance, and technologies, leaving them with greater challenges in coping and rebuilding after a crisis.

UN Women, UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and Sweden, represented by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida), have now renewed their commitment to building women’s resilience to disasters and climate change in the Asia-Pacific region.

With a total of USD 7 million in funding, the next five years of the project EmPower: Women for Climate-Resilient Societies (Phase II) will leverage women’s knowledge, capacities and skills towards adapting to and mitigating climate change with a focus on Bangladesh, Cambodia and Viet Nam.

EmPower Phase II builds on the achievements and lessons learned from the project’s first phase (2018-2022), which successfully engineered alternative livelihoods for vulnerable communities, reduced emissions through renewable energy and sparked intergovernmental commitments to ensure gender-responsive policies and actions in the Asia-Pacific region. With EmPower’s support, 473 women have built climate-resilient livelihoods, creating a model that is ready to be scaled up. Over 50 women-focused organizations were also empowered to influence decision-making on climate change, renewable energy, and disaster risk reduction, including 11 key policies integrating gender equality adopted across the three pilot countries of the project as well as the region.

“Unlocking the full potential of the just energy transition and building climate resilience by empowering women is a key priority for Sweden, highlighting the strong synergies between gender equality and environmental sustainability. Sweden is pleased to continue its support to UN Women and UNEP in line with our commitment to combat climate change and adapt to its effects under the Paris Agreement,” said AnnaMaria Oltorp, Head of Regional Development Cooperation for Asia and the Pacific, the Embassy of Sweden in Bangkok.

In the next five years, UN Women and UNEP will triple the number of women supported by the project by scaling up the innovation, methodologies developed, and knowledge generated from the first phase. The project will also drive further investment for gender-responsive climate action, emission reduction and ensuring that policymakers implement and report on the gender-responsive results they have committed to.

The project is also open for other potential donors to join in order to expand the impact even further.

For more information, please contact:

Maria Holtsberg
Regional Advisor for Humanitarian Action and Disaster Risk Reduction,
UN Women Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific | e: [ Click to reveal ]

Annette Wallgren
Programme Management Officer, Gender & Climate Change,
UNEP Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific | e: [ Click to reveal ]

Since EmPower was created, we have made significant progress, bringing our vision for the future into focus. Discover our results via our virtual journey.