COVID-19 has impacted billions of lives around the globe. Governments, individuals, businesses, and civil society organizations are battling to save lives, support families, and keep businesses, and organisations afloat. During these unprecedented times, NGOs’ role has become paramount in combating the coronavirus and its impact on society’s most vulnerable populations, especially in countries and regions where government services are struggling.
Factories shut down, Planes grounded, events cancelled: the Covid-19 has dejected the world’s economy. The coronavirus epidemic is unprecedented in need as well as in scale. The world has dramatically changed. Every community, sector, organisations and almost the majority of the nation are twirling, due to its impacts on society, health and economy.
What is happening right now?
Due to the spread of Covid-19, the government and Non-Governmental organisations or NGOs worldwide are actively working to combat the pandemic and several aroused socio, environmental and economic issues like social justice, relief work, human rights and many more. NGOs acts as a backbone for the mutual expression of the civilian’s interest. They include the community. Organisations, associations, relief agencies, clubs etc. and many independent bodies working alone or in a partnership with the government and agencies. At a global context, NGOs like Ford Foundation, Mercy Corps, and KIFA in Uganda promote health and hygiene activities in different parts of the nation, mainly in schools, hospitals and homes.
WHO or World Health Organisations topmost advice of frequent hand wash, remains the major step taken by any organisation to stop the spread of the virus. At the global level, NGOs are helping the most affected and marginalised communities by providing them daily need services and utensils like food, soap, hand sanitizers etc. More than 92000 NGOs are working day and night relentlessly to fight the pandemic in India’s context. The Lockdown imposed by the government, followed by the Covid-19 pandemic has created the socio-economic crisis and a public health emergency. The pandemic has taken away almost 20 million jobs and still counting. The livelihood opportunities have declined in a large number, which has put millions of people in a dire strait where they cannot afford a one-time meal and hygiene things like sanitizers, soaps, and masks.
During this tough situation NGOs like OXFAM, Akshay Patra Foundation, Earth foundation, are tirelessly working on the grass-root level and are not only providing rations, food, hygiene kits to the affected, marginalised, deprived and poor people but also they are l educating people and creating awareness among them. They are also setting community kitchens, providing shelter and helping them to fight the stigma.
Options for NGOs
The scale and nature of the pandemic, Covid-19 is unparalleled. So the solution available in such a condition can come from the best practices or past experiences. In the ongoing situation, NGOs need to partnership with the 2 key stakeholders, that are international organisations and private sector as a partnership is the biggest strength source that we have built in the past over the years NGOs through their network and outreach they have created momentum and delivered the response in a very effective and much-needed way. Many organisations and agencies like NASSCOM, FICCI and CII have identified problems, channelized ideas and brought resources and people together and assisted innovations.
NGOs are going through the problem of fund crisis as they mainly used to work independently, but now due to the pandemic they are working together, and the donations that they used to get has declined. The economic crisis has not only affected the funds, but it has also laid off the staff. For the ongoing scenario, we need a potential solution and strategies that can be implemented to overcome the situation like Advanced Financial Mechanism: we need a financial mechanism that will be available in advance to focus on the immediate needs like the distribution of cash for the needy once, hospital resources etc., Establishing NGO liquidity fund and Designing a risk framework.
Content by: – Meldroy Abraham