Mercy Corps Reaches More Than 15 Million People with COVID-19 Response

Programs provide essential aid and support struggling local economies

PORTLAND, OR — The global organization Mercy Corps has reached more than 15.1 million people, addressing both the immediate and long-term impact of COVID-19. Since launching the COVID-19 Resilience Fund in mid-April, the organization has raised over $60.5 million dollars (£45.6 million GBP) including contributions from individuals, foundations, corporate partners and institutional donors. The fund helps teams adapt in real time as well as start up new programs designed to meet emerging needs.

"As the second and third waves of COVID-19 sweep through communities across the globe, we continue to see drastic increases in poverty, unemployment, hunger and conflict," says Tjada D’Oyen McKenna, Mercy Corps’ CEO. "Our teams are not only working tirelessly to prevent the virus’ spread, they are also helping communities to persevere through the economic impact, which will be severe and long-lasting."

Mercy Corps’ COVID-19 response includes:

Protecting health and meeting urgent needs. In many places across the globe clean water and soap are hard to access, physical distancing is near impossible, and access to accurate and reliable information is challenging.

  • Haiti: launched a campaign to combat misinformation, rumors and fear around COVID-19, reaching 2.3 million people.
  • Timor Leste: transformed 25,000 plastic water bottles into 34 hand-washing stations benefiting over 3,400 people.
  • Yemen: reached 308,000 people with hygiene promotion activities and facilitated access to clean water for 260,000 people.

Supporting economic resilience and recovery. Small businesses, entrepreneurs and informal workers are disproportionately impacted by the economic crisis, further driving inequality.

  • Colombia: delivered cash assistance to nearly 117,000 people, helping them afford basic necessities like food and rent while also supporting the local economy.
  • U.S. Pacific Northwest: distributed $1 million in grants to over 200 small businesses to help them adapt.
  • East Africa: reached over 9 million farmers with up-to-date information on COVID-19 and the desert locusts via SMS, WhatsApp, social media and radio to support a productive harvest.

Full reports on Mercy Corps’ efforts to provide emergency support to vulnerable families and communities during this crisis can be found on our website (July 2020, Nov. 2020).