We are now several months into the global COVID-19 pandemic. Our local teams have been hard at work implementing Phase 1 of our relief action plan, and we are humbled by the extreme resilience shown by the Dana Asia-supported communities. With the support from donors so far, we have been able to distribute more than 2,000 emergency food packages to impoverished communities in the Philippines and Cambodia. These communities have little to no access to government support and are suffering severely reduced income as a direct result of the pandemic.
Now Dana Asia is looking to the future. While food has been an urgent and immediate need throughout the past months, long-term solutions are needed. As restrictions are lifted and many countries start to recover from the outbreak, communities in the developing world are a long way away from returning to ‘normal’. Phase 2 of our relief action focuses efforts towards rebuilding and regenerating.
We have used this time to assess the emerging needs within developing communities and developed a strategy to address the long-term needs identified. We have developed plans to launch a ‘hardship fund’ that will support communities to get back on their economic feet. Implementation of the hardship fund will look different, depending on the individual, family or community requiring sustainable support.
It could be through emergency loans that small business owners can apply for to give them the injection of finances that their businesses need to restart.
It could be through introducing new social business innovations into existing micro-enterprises to encourage products that are most needed to create sustainable income generation that individuals can achieve themselves at home or through their businesses. These innovations have the potential to lower costs for the business owner and increase their profit margins.
It could be through the funding of training and resources to enable a farmer to launch a microenterprise within their rural community, giving families a way to generate their own incomes.
All the support we give is designed to be sustainable. By empowering people to take control of their economic potential, we can help these communities out of poverty. If you would like to support our long-term goal, please consider donating via our online portal.