COVID-19: Message to our partners

March 20, 2020

Dear friends of Hivos,

The COVID-19 crisis is confronting us all with health risks, social changes, and an uprooted daily life at an incredible speed. We can only try to understand how this is disrupting lives in countries that may have a fragile health system, and where the exact spread and consequences of the virus are as yet unknown. We all know that the marginalized suffer most during any (health) crisis.

We fully understand that your priorities will shift rapidly when the crisis hits. That the financial viability of your organizations in the long term might take precedence over short-term project activities. That following guidelines on social distancing and travel bans will most likely slow everything down, and will put an end to activities sooner or later. Even though countries are dealing with the crisis differently.

We at Hivos are looking into how we can limit the consequences for you, our partners, and the people and communities you support. All Hivos staff are working hard this week to map out the anticipated impacts of the COVID-19 crisis for our programs, and in particular for you, our civil society partners. We are also doing our level best to ensure that vital business processes, such as payments, continue.

Therefore, following our mapping of the consequences of this crisis for you, our civil society partners, and for program delivery, we will contact our donors and look into flexible solutions enabling you to weather this storm. Your Hivos contact person will be in touch with you within the coming weeks to discuss the impact this crisis has or will have on your organization and on program deliverables. We invite you to jointly set up actions to mitigate as much as possible the ensuing risks.

Whatever new challenges present themselves, they should not deter us from our mission to ensure that authorities everywhere are equitable when it comes to economic, health, and food security crisis measures. Unfortunately, we won’t be able to physically tackle these challenges together.

The COVID-19 crisis demands responsibility from us all to show and act in solidarity. It also asks us to work differently, have online meetings, and organize online activities. We all have to think of alternative ways of working. We are deeply inspired by those working as never before to help others and we are determined to do the same in our own capacity. That means building an open and equal society from our smallest social circle of family and friends, supporting the vulnerable in our communities, and not neglecting our work to ensure that global commitment to the SDGs remains firm and grows.

On behalf of Hivos staff, please stay safe and take care.

Edwin Huizing

Executive Director Hivos