Throughout this unprecedented global pandemic, Crossroads is working to support local program partners to deliver essential services and provide direct community support. Together we are working to contribute to ensure food security and to provide essential service to gender-based violence and domestic violence survivors. Our work to empower women, girls and entire communities to build resilience is even more critical in wake of the devastating impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic to come in developing countries in the coming year.
Since its first outbreak in December 2019, COVID-19 is threatening women’s and girls’ livelihoods and well being.
Even before this pandemic, the Food and Agriculture Organization reported that 239 million were hungry in sub-Saharan Africa, already struggling with severe acute food insecurity. Learning from the Ebola outbreak, we know this crisis will disrupt agricultural market supply chains and impact food production.
Violence and abuse
Confinement and quarantine measures are leading to a worldwide explosion of domestic violence cases and an ever-increasing risk for women and girls in developing countries who are even more vulnerable now that they can’t escape their home mentally as well as physically.
More than 2 million people have already been infected by COVID-19 around the world. We know that many will survive the virus, but in regions and countries where healthcare systems are unable to respond effectively, are ill equipped or virtually nonexistent, in remote rural areas for example, the consequences on local communities will be devastating.
With your support, Crossroads is mobilizing with local partners to continue vital programs:
- We are working with local cooperatives and entrepreneurs like women soap producers in Senegal to help them find ways they can continue to produce and distribute critical products like antiseptic soap in face of national lock down.
- We are supporting local partners who provide access to health cost coverage to thousands of women and their families in Senegal through mutual health insurance.
- We are supporting the production of reusable sanitary pads for adolescent girls by women seamstress in Eswatini who are now producing COVID-19 cloth protection masks.
- We are providing access to gender sensitive health services for at risk youth in the Kedougou region of Senegal, so they can protect themselves and seek support against rising sexual and physical violence in communities due to mobility restrictions.
- Our work to build resilience of networks of women subsistence farmers continues in Senegal, but in Senegal and other countries of focus, Crossroads is working with local partner to address numerous challenges in the face of national lock down that threaten adequate nutrition and, ultimately, incomes and food security as markets and distribution networks are disrupted.
Violence against women and girls
- Crossroads continues to support local partners offering in person counselling and crisis hotline for women experiencing domestic violence in Senegal, Burkina Faso and Togo.
- Crossroads will continue to work to end Female Genital Mutilation in Ghana, Burkina Faso, and Togo through support to local partners who provide rights education and income generating alternative to practitioners.
- Continued access to sexual and reproductive health services through community clinics, health centers and mobile clinics in Togo, Senegal and Ghana.