To our committed supporters,
I want to offer you an update on Near East Foundation’s initial response to COVID-19 and shed light on the challenges we are facing, even as we remain steadfast in our commitment to the communities where we work. As you might imagine, this shared crisis has immediate implications for the economic and social well-being of our global team and for those we serve.
For the past 105 years, NEF has persevered in times of uncertainty. And we will persevere now. But we need your help.
As we navigate this pandemic, the safety of our staff and program participants remains our top priority. While non-essential travel has ceased, our teams in the US, UK, Armenia, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Mali, Morocco, Sudan and Syria are mobilized remotely to ensure the continuity of our work where possible, while taking the necessary precautions to protect their health and others’.
NEF headquarters staff is coordinating closely with country leadership and our local partners to stay apprised of a rapidly evolving situation. Amid the uncertainty, we continue to operate from a place of optimism as we look for safe ways to support those who rely on us most. Even though many of our programs have been forced to pause, operations continue in some of the less affected areas where, as of today, it is safe to do so.
In two of our Siraj Centers in Syria, we were able to coordinate with local health committees to provide coronavirus education to local residents.
Just this week, in Jordan, we provided our partner with funds to help support female entrepreneurs and the growth of their businesses – funds that are needed now more than ever.
In northern Mali, we continue our work to improve food security and resilience to coming crises, where the coronavirus is one among many threats.
Our dedicated staff works tirelessly to improve lives and livelihoods in some of the most challenging places in the world. Time and again, they have shown their ability to make positive and lasting change in complex environments. Now, collectively, we need to ensure they have the resources they need to endure.
The economic and social impacts of the pandemic will linger long after the health effects have subsided. Our programs to rebuild livelihoods will be as essential as they have ever been. Just as we have for over a century, we will be there to help people rebuild their lives.
As we weather this difficult and unprecedented time, NEF is making an appeal for unrestricted funding to soften the blow to our operations. Your support will help ensure that we remain well-equipped to navigate the challenges ahead and respond to pressing needs as they arise. If you are able to make a gift at this time, please donate on our website or reach out to me directly.
We will keep you informed as this challenge evolves. Please stay tuned for more information in the coming weeks.