ActionAid stands in solidarity with all those affected by the coronavirus crisis. As the pandemic escalates around the world, we are taking all necessary measures to protect the health and safety of our staff worldwide and ensure our vital work with women and girls can continue.
Find out how we’re responding, and how this crisis is likely to impact our work changing the world with women and girls.
How is ActionAid’s work likely to be affected?
With the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) spreading to the world’s poorest countries, it’s more important than ever that we support those who are most vulnerable.
Building on the deep roots we have in communities who will be affected by this crisis, and the experience and lessons from our response to the Ebola crisis in West Africa, we will be working over the months ahead to lessen the spread and reduce the impact of the disease.
People in poorer countries, where health systems are less robust than in the UK, are even more at risk from this global pandemic and therefore need our support more than ever.
Will Covid-19 stop ActionAid providing a humanitarian response?
We are continuing to run our existing response programmes, adapting to the changing context where possible. Lifesaving humanitarian action will always be a priority.
We are preparing for the undoubtedly enormous impact this crisis will have on the communities we work with around the world.
What will be the impact on women and girls?
Women and girls living in poverty will be deeply affected by the pandemic. They will also be at the forefront of fighting this crisis worldwide.
Globally, two thirds of health sector jobs are held by women. In addition, women take on three times as much unpaid care work as men – including caring for the sick and the elderly.1
In developing countries, more than two thirds of women work in the informal economy, without sick leave and unemployment benefits. If they don’t work, they and their families don’t eat.
The option of shutting down schools means women are caring for children at home. Mothers are prevented from working, or responsibility falls to grandmothers – already a high-risk group.
Most domestic workers are migrant and undocumented women, without sick leave, unemployment benefits or access to health services. Yet they are at the frontlines of providing care to families worldwide.
Girls are often responsible for walking increasingly long distances to collect any water available.
Worldwide, 780 million people don’t have access to clean water. Without their basic needs met, they won’t be able to protect themselves or their communities from coronavirus.
Given the escalating food crisis in Southern Africa, what effect could Covid-19 have?
This is a great concern. People weakened by hunger and malnutrition and with limited coping ability will be much more vulnerable to a disease outbreak and are likely to be less resilient.
Will this affect the child I sponsor?
We’re doing everything we can to ensure our child sponsorship work is uninterrupted.
However if you sponsor a child with us, we are foreseeing delays in receiving and sending child messages over the upcoming months, so please bear with us. If you have any questions about what this means for you, please feel free to get in touch with our dedicated Supporter Contact team — details below.
Can I still contact you if your teams are working from home?
The Supporter Contact team will be providing a full service for supporters and can be contacted on 01460 238 000 (between 9am-5.30pm Monday to Friday) and by email anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We aim to respond to emails within two working days and to phone calls either on the day or the next working day if the call is made outside of working hours.
For business enquiries please call our reception (0203 122 0561) within working hours or send an email to email@example.com.
Our Events team can be contacted by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
What plans are you putting in place for cancelled events?
The London Marathon has been deferred until Sunday October 4.
We will be in regular touch with the ActionAid London Marathon team as we receive more information, and hope that as many of the team as possible will be able to still take part in October.
We will do our utmost best to support you with your fundraising efforts and training over the extended period and are so proud of all you have achieved so far.
For those unable to take part in October, we will refund your registration fee and sponsorship money, or you can defer your place to the 2021 marathon.
For more information, visit the London Marathon website.
We are hopeful that RideLondon, scheduled to take place on Sunday August 16, will still take place, and know that the event organisers will keep us well informed.
You can still sign up here. If the event is cancelled, we will refund your registration fee and sponsorship money.
If you have signed up to take part in our Rwanda and Cambodia First-Hand Experience events in July and November, we will work with our country programme offices, as well as our tour operator Different Travel, to monitor the situation in the respective countries and keep you informed as and when we receive more information.
If the trip is cancelled, we will refund your registration fee and sponsorship money.
If you have signed up to take part in another third-party challenge event in aid of ActionAid which has been cancelled or deferred, we will get in touch with you as soon as possible.
If you have planned to organise your own fundraising event at school, work or in your community, we understand that it might need to be postponed.
We are here to support you with your fundraising efforts, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch via email@example.com.
Can I still campaign for you?
Yes! We’ll continue to work with and support women and girls living in poverty to fight for their rights and respond to this crisis worldwide. Your support is absolutely vital for this.
In terms of campaigning, we’ll keep working with women and girls in three key ways:
- To stamp out harassment in the world of work
- To call on the British government to be a global leader on women’s rights by guaranteeing aid that continues to deliver for women and girls
- By ensuring all UK climate change policy is gender-just.
Over the coming weeks we’ll be sharing:
- Opportunities for campaigns supporters to take action on these issues
- Stories of how coronavirus is affecting women worldwide
- Ideas of how we can work together to address the crisis.