A message from our Executive Director
In this past week, I know that all of us – in many different ways – are feeling the impacts of COVID‑19 on our lives, livelihoods, homes and communities. During this tumultuous time, it's my hope that we’re all able to take whatever steps we can to ensure the safety and care of ourselves and our loved ones.
At Mercy Corps, our first priority is always the safety and security of our team members, partners and programme participants. As COVID-19 continues to spread around the world, we are closely following and adhering to guidance from the WHO and public health authorities in the countries where we operate. We recognise this virus knows no borders and anticipate a significant escalation in humanitarian needs for the communities we support - both in the immediate and long term, and in particular in the most fragile settings where we do the bulk of our work globally.
We’ve established a Global Crisis Management Team that is monitoring operations to ensure we quickly prioritise any changes needed and provide guidance to keep us responsive to this rapidly evolving situation. Our country teams have convened country-level task forces and launched continuity planning to ensure we are able to adapt to the evolving situation and the subsequent impact on our work in the coming weeks and months.
We are currently working on strategies that enable us not only to continue our life-saving work, but to pivot and respond - when appropriate and safe to do so - to the short and long term impacts of COVID-19. These are likely to be most devastating on the most vulnerable, particularly those in fragile or conflict-affected settings. To find out more about how we are adapting our work to this rapidly changing situation, please visit our COVID-19 updates page.
We are continuing to implement programmes where we can do so safely for participants, communities and our teams, however we acknowledge that the current constraints are unprecedented. We operate in 44 countries, many of which now have confirmed cases of COVID‑19, including Iraq, Afghanistan and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Additionally, many countries around the globe have closed their borders and issued restrictions on movement, resulting in additional challenges for our teams. Our team members from our headquarters offices are working remotely in accordance with guidance from local authorities, and we have strong systems in place to ensure we are providing efficient and timely support to our countries as the situation continues to develop.
We are committed to doing everything we can to ensure the ongoing delivery of our life-saving work, and to help prepare for the impact - health, economic and societal - of COVID-19 in the communities we support. We remain steadfast in our commitment to deliver on our mission – to create secure, productive and just communities – wherever we can generate the greatest positive impact. Now, more than ever, we need partnerships and a community of humanitarians working together both locally and globally.
Simon O'Connell - Executive Director, Mercy Corps