Thank you for being with us at this difficult time.
To all of our kind supporters – I wanted to update you on how Peace Direct has been affected by Coronavirus (COVID-19) and to reassure you we are taking steps to reduce any further impact it might have on our staff, partners and work.
People living and working in war zones or conflict areas face life-threatening crises on a daily basis and have to adjust and carry on in even the most difficult times. We are learning from them and trying to react in a practical, calm way.
We have been closely monitoring the impact COVID-19 could have on our peacebuilding partners worldwide. To date, there have been no widespread outbreaks in the areas our partners are working, so I am pleased to say projects and activities are continuing uninterrupted at this time.
However, depending on how the virus spreads, the effects could be significant, which is why we are bolstering our emergency fund to provide immediate support to those who might need it. For example, last year, we used the fund to help our partner respond immediately to the Easter Sunday attacks in Sri Lanka.
Looking closer to home, we are ensuring that Peace Direct can continue to run with the minimum of disruption despite the inevitable turmoil.
Here are some of the steps we have taken, putting the health and wellbeing of our team at the heart of our decisions:
- We have cancelled all non-essential travel and are talking to partners about the impacts that this might have on their work.
- Staff in our UK and U.S. offices are working remotely.
- We have put in place additional measures to support staff who have children or other family members to care for, and we have introduced a counselling support program to help staff who might be struggling at this time.
Our biggest challenge now is ensuring that the economic uncertainty caused by the outbreak doesn’t damage our ability to support long-term peacebuilding work. Some of our fundraising efforts are likely to be affected and we, like many charities, are expecting a drop in our income in the coming months, as well as a delay in new projects getting started as a result of the “lockdowns”. With that in mind, I hope we can continue to rely on your support and generosity at this very difficult time.
If you can, an extra gift today would help us keep supporting critical work in the months ahead.
We will continue to keep the Peace Direct website updated with important information as the situation develops.
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