Although we don’t know to what extent yet, we do know that COVID-19 will have some level of impact on our partners in rural, remote villages in Africa, Bangladesh, India and Latin America. So many people around the world, especially in The Hunger Project communities, rely on a small daily income to survive day to day, so staying at home is sometimes not an option, or instead of a forced-choice which puts them and their family’s lives at risk in other ways.
The core of how The Hunger Project works is more relevant than ever: we will continue to empower our communities to access reliable information and needed services, and support their leadership and resilience in the face of challenges.
Now that we are rapidly entering a period of social distancing, we need to find new ways to partner with communities and for them to work safely with one another. We have started implementing some new measures already, including:
- postponing gatherings of more than 10 people
- creating call trees and WhatsApp groups of key local leaders, Animators and stakeholders to enable accurate and reliable information to flow into communities
- connecting our teams and communities with reliable global and local public health services and resources
- notifying communities that THP staff are putting travel from capitals and regional centres to communities on hold, and empowering people to find new ways to continue their activities
What does this mean for our work ending hunger?
As you can appreciate, the process of ending hunger is an ongoing, daily task; it doesn’t stop for any kind of disruption. We appreciate your partnership, patience and compassion as we work out the best ways to continue creating possibility for millions of people around the world.
We recognise these measures may slow down or alter some programmatic work. That said, our sustainable approach and the way we are set up, means development work can continue even without THP staff travelling out to communities. This period may lead to new innovations that could strengthen our programs as well.
The key is to be nimble in approach while being steadfast in our commitment to our mission and our partners. We are confident they will lead their communities through this challenging time. We’ve seen it time after time: our communities are resilient and mobilise to lead in times of crisis.