The Impact of the Pandemic on NGOs in MENA

Published April 11th, 2021 - 06:00 GMT
The Impact of the Pandemic on NGOs in MENA
Businesses across the globe are still trying to either recover from the pandemic or find ways to keep pushing through, and NGOs are no different

The world has been witnessing significant challenges since the start of the pandemic. Businesses across the globe are still trying to either recover from the pandemic or find ways to keep pushing through, and NGOs are no different. 

Like the rest of the world, NGOs are also facing unprecedented challenges during these times. With NGOs relying heavily on donor fundings, their own survival is at risk due to the economic distress that the pandemic is inducing. There is no bigger sign than this that businesses and NGOs should not rely heavily on aids, and should instead shift their efforts to implementing sustainable solutions to ensure their survival during similar times. This is especially true to NGOs in the MENA region, due to the fact that the region currently hosts the largest number of refugees worldwide. In Palestine, for example, the need for foreign aid is nothing new, and the pandemic is causing even more distress for Palestinians. NGOs there are also at risk due to budget cutting and lack of funding. Furthermore, in countries like Jordan and Lebanon, where refugees live in densely populated areas, implementing protective measures such as social distancing and quarantining are difficult to follow. Not only that, but the fact that refugees do not have access to medical care makes it all the more difficult for NGOs to help elevate the crisis in refugee camps. While countries in the MENA are actively working with international organizations to help attain funding for refugees, there still seems to be a lot of challenges for countries like Syria and Yemen. 

As many countries implemented strict lockdowns and curfews, many NGOs reported that they have received an increased number of calls through their hotlines about domestic violence. For instance, Tunisia reported an increase in the number of domestic violence cases against women in early 2020. This increase in domestic violence is also deepening the need for NGOs to act and support those in need. 

In order for NGOs to be able to continue supporting those in need, liquidity funds are needed, says WEF. Ultimately, it is imperative that NGOs act now and support middle- and low- income countries during this difficult time. And in order to avoid further deepening the humanitarian crisis, NGOs should also take advantage of the opportunity that the pandemic has introduced. Because with the pandemic came the need for new and innovative solutions to help keep our world moving forward. Therefore, it is instrumental that NGOs use this chance to design new financing plans and solutions to help those in need. 


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