Updated 21 March 2020

Since the COVID-19 virus took the world by storm on 31 December 2019, swift damage swept across the globe, devastating our lives in lasting ways.

To date, the coronavirus has invaded 95% of the world’s countries. Declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organisation, the number of infected cases and death toll are expected to continue its climb in the coming weeks and months. Nations are rising to contain the aggressive spread, strengthening capacities of national healthcare systems, implementing a slew of social distancing measures, while some governments have taken a hard stand by shutting its borders to all international travellers in a bid to curb the disease.

Overnight, the coronavirus seems to have pressed the pause button on all of our lives.

Corporations and businesses are reeling from the slowdown in economic activity and transportation restrictions. Sectors, particularly the tourism, transport, retail and property, food and beverage industries are bearing direct hits on their business. With the shutting down of production, disrupting supply chains, companies that rely on intermediate goods from affected regions are having difficulty finding alternative sources to meet pressing deliveries.

Financial stocks nosedived as fears over the COVID-19 began rattling investors, resulting in the worst performance since the 2008 global financial crisis. As the world heads for an economic shutdown, large companies are pleading with governments for financial bailouts while struggling small and medium businesses face imminent closure. Others, in their desperate attempts to sustain their failing operations are sending their staff on unpaid leave and early retirement. Alarm bells ring as news of paycuts and layoffs reverberate across the world.

Numerous large-scale events locally and globally have been cancelled. Many people are now stuck at home from work and school due to the increase of social-distancing measures and suspension of big religious and social gatherings. Anxious about the future, and pessimistic about the long-term impact, people start to cut back on discretionary spending, bringing on a knock-on effect throughout the whole economy.

If our regular lives are enormously impacted by this invasive epidemic, imagine for a moment, how much worse it must be on some of the most vulnerable segments of the population.

The sudden outbreak of the new coronavirus has caused a devastating impact on vulnerable and poor communities. Given their impoverished backgrounds and inherent defencelessness, the most vulnerable have less capacity to cope with the impact of such infection. Poor rural households are less able to reach or afford medical care, and the availability and capacity of health systems in poor remote areas is limited. Some provinces are in a state of emergency as their health system strains to keep up with an ever-increasing flow of sick patients. Inevitably, the poor have less capacity to cope economically with consequences of an outbreak.

Amid the crisis, charities are not spared. As corporate and individual priorities shift in response to fears of a looming recession, the work of HAGAR faces the stark reality of dwindling donations and sponsorship, and a possible disruption to our delivery of help to vulnerable and exploited women and children whom we serve in Cambodia, Vietnam, Afghanistan and Singapore.

At HAGAR, we ask the question – “Can we overcome this crisis?”. Our unanimous answer is “YES, we can. But we must stay focused, united in spirit and help one another along the way.”

Our work is a continued commitment to our beneficiaries in marginalised communities, helping them to recover from some of the worst forms of trauma and violence, and to empower them with literacy and skills to gain economic independence. To help them better cope with the next crisis, we need to strengthen their resilience and capacity to cope with shocks and other unforeseen events that might come their way.


As an individual, you can help by pick up essential life-saving gifts for vulnerable children and women under HAGAR’s care from our Gift Catalogue, providing them immediate respite and a chance to full recovery.

If you are facing challenges with your personal finances at the moment, you can still make a difference by turning your upcoming birthday bash, special anniversary events into opportunities to benefit the afflicted. Direct your friends to pick up gifts of medical treatment, education bursaries, skills training and more, for the empowerment of the marginalised. See the array of gifts here!

Alternatively, if you are able to make a small regular donation to help us tide over this crisis, with just $50 a month, you can empower a survivor of trafficking and abuse to reach full recovery and self-sustainability in the long run. Find out more about the EMPOWER programme below.

Thank you for your support! Together, let’s overcome the global crisis, strengthen the feeble, and leave no man behind.

Empower A Survivor

Donate Now

Provide them with the necessary protection, literacy and skills to start a whole new life.

Empower a Survivor

Donate Now

Provide them with the necessary protection, literacy and skills to start a whole new life.

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