Emergency relief by Dana Asia
Dana Asia Relief Fund
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greetings to you all
The huge social concern on COVID 19 pandemic and lockdown is universal, and has particular consequences in the marginalized communities where Dana Asia is operating – working to lifting families in these communities out of poverty is DA’s reason for being. Never before in our life time has this need been so big as now.
Where Dana Asia has helped build up a meaningful Microfinance operation In metro Manila there is complete and extreme lockdown. Local economic activity and micro-businesses of Grameen borrowers are stalled. Moratorium on microfinance loan payments was initiated by Grameen Pilipinas as initial relief to borrowers’ difficulties. A survey of 905 of our borrowers last week found that over 90 % were either very worried or worried about their family’s ability to survive.
Last week we provided our first emergency package of vegetables and rice delivery to members of a Grameen project who live as informal settlers. They had faced difficulties in accessing Government aid, so our Manila Project team organized immediate relief action with an emergency fund grant from a donor, by linking up with a partner farmers’ cooperative to deliver healthy food packs for 300 families.
To make the required difference, we all in the not-for-profit sector will need to be at the top of our game. Now is a time to ponder and be focused on paradigm change. Not only towards the immediate emergency aid but also towards new forms of long-term poverty alleviation measures.
It is early days yet when looking at what longer-term actions might be required post lock-down to develop new and lasting resilience within the most deprived communities. In the short-term we are keeping close contact with all the communities where we work. We are already drafting pro-active relief assistance and social business driven support projects for our partner communities based on the most urgent “Needs”. This includes a “Hardship Fund” where assistance can be provided to help entrepreneurs can renew their businesses. More on this soon.
Thank you from all of us at Dana Asia and the communities we serve.