More than 500,000 farmers and agricultural workers in nearly 60 countries across the globe are reaping the benefits of Fairtrade’s COVID Relief and Resilience Fund – a joint effort developed by Fairtrade International, its member organizations, and government and commercial partners, aimed at delivering direct financial help to small-scale producers hard-hit by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The €15 million Fund launched last year in response to the pandemic and runs until 2022, providing a range of short-term relief and long-term recovery measures across Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, including the provision of emergency measures, like personal protection equipment, COVID-19 prevention awareness campaigns and livelihood diversification.
“The COVID-19 pandemic shook the very foundations of our global economic and social systems. But for farming and agricultural communities in vulnerable regions around the world, the impact of COVID-19 was especially devastating,” noted Dr. Nyagoy Nyong’o, Global CEO at Fairtrade.
“By rolling out the COVID-19 Relief and Resilience Fund with our key partners, we have been able to ensure that farmers and agricultural workers in the Fairtrade community have the financial and health protections necessary to continue their valuable work, shield themselves from further systemic shocks caused by the pandemic, and build back fairer for a more sustainable and equitable future.”
Support for the COVID-19 Relief and Resilience Fund was provided the German Federal Ministry for Development and Cooperation (BMZ), the German Development Corporation (GIZ), the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), and the British Foreign Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) via the Vulnerable Supply Chains Facility (VSCF), among others.
Along with immediate health and safety measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Fund is also helping to address economic recovery needs within affected producer organizations. Additional recovery efforts include helping small-scale producers initiate and carry out programs to ensure food security, secure and increase incomes by diversifying crops and markets, address human rights risks in supply chains and improve digital technologies as the foundations for a fairer recovery and to build future business resilience.
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Andrew Zaganelli Giacalone