American Jewish World Service (AJWS) Supports Locally Driven Efforts as Pandemic Hits the Developing World
NEW YORK – American Jewish World Service (AJWS), the leading global Jewish human rights organization, is raising funds for coronavirus prevention, mitigation and community health education in 19 countries in the developing world.
Building on its long history of providing aid in the wake of disasters, AJWS is funding local groups, which are best positioned to educate communities about the virus and respond to their needs as the pandemic crosses borders with alarming speed. AJWS is stepping up its support for more than 450 grantee organizations in 19 countries in Asia, Africa, Central America and the Caribbean as they confront the pandemic and the economic devastation it will wreak.
COVID-19 already is erupting in these countries and challenging them in unprecedented ways. Devastatingly, many governments around the world are responding to COVID-19 with cruelty and carelessness, putting countless additional lives at risk.
AJWS is making sure that overlooked and often stigmatized groups—indigenous communities, ethnic and religious minorities, LGBTQI people, women and girls, and rural people—are receiving the critical funds they need in this time of crisis. Without our support, most of these groups will not have resources for community response.
AJWS is making new grants, meeting is obligation to make all its planned grants, and allowing grantee partners to use current grants made for other purposes for Coronavirus response. As the swirl of deleterious rumors and government misinformation mislead communities around the world, AJWS partners are distributing public health toolkits for community education to hundreds of groups worldwide.
These are two examples of our new work:
- Nicaragua’s government, ignoring WHO recommendations, has refused to implement protective measures for its population. AJWS partners have denounced the regime’s negligence and called on support from the Organization of American States to pressure the regime to adapt the WHO measures.
- In Senegal, COVID-19 is spreading rapidly, and as the virus is seen as a shameful illness to be hidden, efforts to seek treatment have been hampered. AJWS’s community-based partners are raising awareness in all local languages.
Robert Bank, AJWS President and CEO, commented, “For our partner organizations around the world, the landscape is dire. The most marginalized communities stand to face the most serious harm. Those teetering on the edge of economic insecurity are an infection away from losing the livelihoods that keep their families fed and sheltered.”
About American Jewish World Service (AJWS)
American Jewish World Service (AJWS) is the leading Jewish organization working to fight poverty and pursue justice in the developing world. By supporting hundreds of social change organizations in 19 countries, we respond to the most pressing issues of our time—from disasters, genocide and hunger, to the persecution of women and minorities worldwide. With Jewish values and a global reach, AJWS is making a difference in millions of lives and bringing a more just and equitable world closer for all.
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David L. Marcus