COVID-19: Fund puts in place mechanisms to assist grantees

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Fund manager Michelle Reddy says they already had a fl exible and adaptive approach to the way the assistance worked and provided funding to its grantee partners. Picture: FILE

THE Fiji Women’s Fund has put in place mechanisms to assist its grantee partners cope during the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the fund manager Michelle Reddy, they already had a flexible and adaptive approach to the way the assistance worked and provided funding to its grantee partners.

“Using this mechanism, we have made a commitment to keep organisations and groups functioning by retaining organisational costs and assuring grantee partners that we are open to amending work plans to suit the current context,” she said.

“Some grantees have reprogramed to focus more on using our funding to respond to COVID-19 such as the Fiji Women’s Rights Movement while organisations like Medical Service Pacific our support to core funding has meant that they are able to continue to pay staffing costs through this period where many organisations have felt the pinch and have either laid off staff or reduced their hours.

“MSP has been on the frontlines of this crisis, providing critical counselling for children and adults.”

She said they continued to check their grantees on a weekly basis on how they were operating and any further support which could be provided or connections which could be made to assist them.

“These catch ups help to ensure that the very women’s organisations we work with are also taking care of themselves, their staff and the communities they work with collective care is very important to us and we want to ensure that through solidarity, we can collectively pull through.”

According to her grantees were ensured the support for ending violence against women and children are prioritised.

“Organisations like FWRM and Medical Services Pacific have been on the frontlines of this crisis and we want to ensure that they are able to provide their critical services as it is evident globally that during humanitarian crises, gender based violence rises and in the current situation of movement restrictions many women and children are trapped indoors with their abusers.

“It’s important that we support and promote human rights and the protection of children.

“As most organisations are operating from home – we have also continually shared resources from our global sister funds on some interesting tips and tools to successfully work in a virtual space.”

As the funding opportunities had arisen Ms. Reddy said they have also shared these with their grantee partners so that they could access new forms of funding which were geared specifically at COVID 19.

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