The COVID-19 pandemic took a different step this year with the delta variant hampering efforts to revive the economy as countries looked to relax distancing measures.
In Cambodia and Vietnam, the situation reached critical levels and further set back our beneficiaries who were already facing livelihood challenges. Many factories and businesses remain closed, and there are just too few jobs for those in need of work. Children especially girls, face greater risk of sexual exploitation and violence as they roam the streets to find food and ways to make money.
In Afghanistan, the takeover of Kabul and the ensuring chaos have led to a surging humanitarian catastrophe where millions of people are currently displaced and are without access to food and basic human services. With a drought taking hold, a cold winter setting in at this present moment, the COVID-19 pandemic spreading, and the economy in a state of collapse, hope is running out for these people.
These unexpected events hit us hard, but at HAGAR, it was impossible to turn away from the cries of suffering women and children in these countries where we have been serving marginalised communities for decades. At a most crucial time, we were so thankful when we received a $50,000 matching fund commitment from two corporate foundations in May that very kindly pledged to do a dollar for dollar match for donations received from new regular donors, doubling the funds for HAGAR.
When we shared this incredible giving opportunity with our supporters, many responded swiftly and gave sacrificially. By the close of the sign up, we had managed to secure the full $50,000 matched funds, thanks to all the donors who signed up to give!
Having ongoing funding support helps us greatly in planning ahead and efficiently allocating funds to the most critical needs as they arise. The flexibility this affords makes all the difference in time-critical situations such as emergency health crises or aid in conflict situations, such as what we are experiencing now.
In this extended battle against the coronavirus, we cannot be sure how long recovery will take. Yet, at HAGAR, we are committed to The Whole Journey of recovery and empowerment for women and children who have survived tremendous hardships from trafficking, slavery and abuse. With our limited resources, we do not claim to be able to change the world, but for every life that is under our care, we are determined to help them live, and build a lasting future beyond the pandemic.
We are very thankful for every person who gives regularly towards our work and projects in Afghanistan, Cambodia, Vietnam and Singapore. Thank you for walking the long haul with survivors in our care and investing in their lives.