ACFID Statement on COVID-19

20 Mar, 2020

In unprecedented times such as these, we know that the levels of anxiety and fear will be highest amongst vulnerable people living in less-developed countries.

As a united membership of non-governmental organisations working with those communities, we say: we aren’t going anywhere. We will continue to work to achieve our missions and work with you to overcome this crisis.

COVID-19 poses challenges for ACFID’s members’ staff, fundraising, cash-flow and ability to fulfil projects and plan future projects. But we are determined to work together with our teams, our partners, our generous supporters and with Governmentsto continue to provide the life-saving assistance we have always done. 

As organisations that last year delivered 3,485 projects in 86 countries around the world, ACFID’s membership understands the challenges developing nations will face in the coming months. 

We stand ready to help support the COVID-19 response and recovery, both at home in Australia and in countries who need Australia’s support. For example, many of our members are leading global experts on Water, Sanitation and Hygiene and will be instrumental in reducing the impact of this virus.

As long-standing partners of the Australian Government, we also stand ready to support the Government’s efforts through the official development assistance program. 

Australia – as a prosperous neighbour – can help the region and people around the world to alleviate the health and economic implications of this COVID-19 pandemic.  And it is in these times of crises, Australia’s position, partnership and leadership can help guide and support other nations. 

On behalf of our members, ACFID is setting out several priorities to support our members and their work in response to COVID-19:

  • The health and protection of our staff, those we work with and those in the Australian community, is our first priority. ACFID’s members are following official advice and taking measures to protect against the spread of infection. This includes but is not exclusive to: social distancing; implementing greater hygiene measures; and work from home policies.
  • As a membership, we will also be actively identifying opportunities to contribute our deep skills and expertise in emergency and humanitarian response to COVID-19 internationally and share how we work in these environments.
  • To continue members’ critical work, they need the continuing support of the public and their donors. The support of the Australian community is the lifeblood of our members’ work. In straightened times, donations can be the first thing for people to cut from their expenses. But we are asking for your help to keep the work of our members going, to continue your donations and invaluable support
  • To continue members’ critical work, we also need greater flexibility from donors. We will be working closely with the Australian Government and other donors to scope out the options of providing greater flexibility in delivering the projects our members have been funded to carry out. 
  • ACFID will be setting-up platforms for members to learn more from each other: to exchange ideas, strategies and responses to COVID-19, as well as to hear from experts on COVID-19 and key stakeholders, like the Australian Government. 

**Given the fast-changing nature of the COVID-19 and Australia's response, this statement was amended on 23 March to reflect the current situation. 

ENDS

For further information, contact the ACFID Media Team at [email protected] or on 0401 721 064.