NGOs hit hard by COVID-19

NGOs hit hard by COVID-19

NASSAU, BAHAMAS — Eighty percent of non-governmental organizations and civil society groups canvassed in a recent survey have reported that they have been highly impacted by COVID-19 through the cancellation of programs and events.

More than 50 percent have reported that they have been highly impacted by revenue loss, according to data collected by the Organization for Responsible Governance (ORG).

Matt Aubry, ORG’s executive director said: “The recent mobilization by over 20 NGOs to ensure that those in need  have access to food and water, as well as those still deeply engaged in supporting the Dorian Affected areas, clearly demonstrate the vital need for  the Civil Society Sector  in  a national  response to this crisis .

“In order to weather this crisis and meet The Bahamas’ growing need for social, health, economic and cultural support, the Civil Society Sector will need support and engagement from both the private Sector  and government.”

The survey showed that over 65 percent of its 79 respondents identified that financial assistance would be needed to continue to meet their mandates.

New Providence, Abaco and Grand Bahama received the most respondents, with 50 percent of total respondents identifying as national NGOs and nearly 17 percent as international non-profit NGOs.

Thirty percent of respondents identified education as their area of focus, 26 percent identified community development and 25 percent identified youth development as their area of focus.

More than 50 percent of respondents said the COVID-19 pandemic has also affected their operations via staff and volunteer absences, with just over 50 percent indicating a high level of demand for services and support from their clients and communities.