What is $100 amid a global pandemic? ‘The answer to a prayer.’

Posted on 08/25/2020

Four months ago, I shared with you early news of how, through our COVID-19 Emergency Relief program, Grameen is pivoting to leverage our experience, technologies, and Community Agents to help women and families around the world whose lives and livelihoods are threatened by the COVID-19 pandemic.

A key component of COVID-19 Emergency Relief is our work to deliver urgently needed unconditional cash to our most vulnerable clients. We’ve made excellent progress identifying and reaching the neediest women and families, and we could not be more grateful for the remarkable response from our donors and partners.

In South Asia, 33 percent of the population lives on less than $1.90 a day and loss of income from Enhanced Community Quarantines threatens to thrust 6 million more people into poverty. Through our pilot COVID-19 Emergency Relief program in the Philippines, we worked with local partners to identify and provide PHP 5,000 (US $100) cash payments to 180 extremely vulnerable beneficiaries, 96 percent of whom are women.

They spent the cash on desperately needed food and medicine for their households and investments to keep small businesses afloat.

In India, where informal workers early daily wages without government safety nets or health insurance, lockdowns have devastated families. There, we have provided emergency cash to more than 200 families, and we have set a goal to reach 6,000 more with funds to meet emergency needs and restart their small businesses.

In the Bidi Bidi and Palorinya refugee settlements in Uganda, we are working to select 580 beneficiaries to receive one-time grants of UGX 150,000 (US $41). That’s enough to cover one family’s basic necessities for an entire month.

One beneficiary described the cash relief as an “answer to a prayer.” She thanks you, and I thank you, for supporting these critical programs.

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