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The Essential Services Package was created by the United Nations Joint Global Programme on Essential Services for Women and Girls Subject to Violence, which was launched by UNFPA and UN Women in December 2013, with support and funding from the Government of Spain and the Australian Government. The participating UN agencies include: UNFPA, UN WOMEN, WHO, UNDP and UNODC.

The joint programme aims to bridge the gap between international commitments on ending and responding to gender-based violence and what is actually implemented at the country level.

Five modules – an overview as well as standards and guidelines for the health, police and justice, social services, and coordination and governance sectors – were finalized in December 2015 and launched at the Global Conference on Ending Violence against Women in Istanbul (co-organized by UNFPA, UNW and the Government of Turkey). 

A sixth module, on implementation, was launched in 2017.