Covid-19

Oct 21, 2020
Sri Lanka is gripped by another wave of the COVID-19 pandemic as children prepared to face crucial government examinations of Grade 5 Scholarship and the Advanced Level on October 11 and 12 respectively. The former enables children, especially those in rural areas, the opportunity to attend better schools with more facilities while the latter selects students for degree courses in state universities. Although education is free in Sri Lanka, there is high competition to enter good schools and universities, making these examinations decisive. As such, the government announced its plans to go ahead with holding them despite the threat of disease spread, but would take all health precautions. Before opening schools earlier in August after the initial shutdown, SCORE had already equipped 180... Read more
Aug 24, 2020
By Kathya de Silva Senarath, Reporting Officer, USAID SCORE Program in Sri Lanka As thousands of children returned to school in August following five months of closure, an initiative supported by the United States has helped disinfect schools and ensure a healthy learning environment for Sri Lankan students.  In cooperation with regional health and education directors, medical officers, and school development executive committees, the project disinfected 180 schools in 14 districts in the Southern, Central, Uva, Eastern, North and North Central Provinces.  This has enabled nearly 200,000 schoolchildren and teachers to resume their education safely.    “As schools reopen, the United States is working to safeguard the health of students and teachers, while giving parents the confidence to... Read more
Jul 30, 2020
The COVID-19 pandemic has brought growing challenges to communities around the world. Many vulnerable communities and citizens are stuck in a state of social isolation and economic crisis. Even though that is the reality in many communities, in Granadero Baigorria, Argentina, where the John Deere Foundation-funded Sowing Futures program operates, a group of people did not let fear and insecurity paralyze them;  in the face of a serious food crisis in the country, they mobilized to help the most vulnerable to cope during the pandemic. Paula Papaleo is an example of this proactive response. She is on the board of directors of the San Fernando neighborhood soccer school, which has always provided milk and cookies to youth who participate in school activities. With the arrival of the pandemic... Read more
Jul 09, 2020
Over the past several months, the Global Communities’ Sowing Futures team in Brazil has supported the John Deere Brazil Foundation in delivering 3,836 food baskets to 1,953 families in need to John Deere home communities across Indaiatuba, Campinas, Catalão, Montenegro and Campinas. The amount of baskets delivered equates to approximate 102,000 pounds of food items. Seventy-one Deere volunteers and 201 community volunteers participated in identifying at-risk families and organizing and delivering the foods baskets. A total of 267.8 Deere and 1052 community volunteer hours were registered. The food baskets were distributed through a combination of neighborhood committees and community organizations that reached 62 neighborhoods across the five locations. The team has also worked in the... Read more
Jul 09, 2020
How pivoting from auditing to advising helps financial institutions manage risk during COVID-19 By Richard Shumann,Chief Risk Officer for Vitas Group
This blog entry was originally published on FinDev Gateway   Internal auditors are an essential component of microfinance providers’ internal control and risk management functions, but how should they react to a sudden crisis? Experience in Vitas Group shows that a quick pivot from auditing to advising, supported by management and collaboration among auditors, helps financial institutions adjust internal controls and manage risk. Vitas Group operates micro and small enterprise... Read more
Jul 06, 2020
In Halystyniska, Ukraine, the village council, businesses and the public organized the sewing of protective facemasks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Volunteers sewed over 4,700 cloth masks with sewing equipment given to the community as part of the implementation of the USAID DOBRE Local Economic Development program. The masks were distributed free of charge in six consolidated communities at community social institutions and administrative buildings as well as to senior citizens and vulnerable groups. The consolidated community residents created a business incubator at the Adult Education Center, where people were trained on the new sewing machines with an eye toward producing other products such as protective clothing and suits. Volunteers credit the... Read more
Jul 06, 2020
As a response to the COVID-19 crisis, USAID YouthPower introduced a special web show to provide support and address the psychosocial needs of youth during the lockdown era. The talk show features specialists with hands-on experience with relevant youth topics and issues. Entitled “Mind Power,” this talk show consists of two parts. The first part showcases the specialists and the show’s host, Tala Mattar, constructively tackling a specific topic. The second part is a live chat conducted via the YouthPower Private Facebook Group page. This has granted youth the opportunity to comment, question, and share their thoughts on the topics addressed on the talk show. Since its launch, “Mind Power” has aired 10 episodes and reached more than 4,000 views and 1,000 engagements. During June, “Mind... Read more
Jul 06, 2020
CHF Management and Consulting Services Egypt S.A.E. (CHF MCSE) provides loan guarantees to small- and medium-enterprises (SMEs) in Egypt and produced a new report called Covid-19 Impact on Performance of Micro and Small Businesses in Egypt. In light of the Covid-19 situation across the country of Egypt, SMEs are up against exceptional challenges whose effects will be felt for a long time to come. The report outlines the impact of the crisis on Micro- and Small-enterprises as well as their readiness to address the current crisis and its aftermath. Furthermore, this study will shed light on response measures adopted by... Read more
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