More than half of JOA’s £3m given to Covid programmes

MORE than half of the £3 million given by Jersey Overseas Aid for humanitarian relief last year was used for programmes designed to help poverty-stricken communities tackle the Covid crisis.

Delivering essential medicines to rural communities in Nepal, courtesy of IHP, which received a grant from Jersey Overseas Aid (31726526)
Delivering essential medicines to rural communities in Nepal, courtesy of IHP, which received a grant from Jersey Overseas Aid (31726526)

In 2020, JOA made ten humanitarian aid grants, in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, to partners including the British Red Cross, CARE and HelpAge International, the organisation’s annual report has revealed.

International Development Minister Carolyn Labey said: ‘Unsurprisingly, 2020’s humanitarian funding was dominated by projects addressing the devastating effects of Covid-19.

‘Jersey has stood, and continues to stand, alongside countries of all sizes, playing our part in the international response to Covid-19.

‘JOA’s rapid response funding to trusted international partners has allowed some of the world’s best aid agencies to reach hundreds of thousands of people across the world.’

Among the grants handed out by JOA was £350,000 to the British Red Cross, of which £150,000 was donated in May 2020 to support essential healthcare services for vulnerable communities, and in the second half of the year a further £200,000 was made available to limit the spread of the virus among Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh.

David Peppiatt, British Red Cross interim executive director, said: ‘There’s a bond between Jersey and the British Red Cross which began during the Second World War.

‘Now 75 years on, as we face this global health emergency, the link between the Red Cross and the Island remains strong.

‘With the help of JOA, we can continue to put kindness into action to support those who need it most around the world.’

Two of JOA’s grants, totalling £185,000, went to International Health Partners.

Through its discounts and relationships with health providers, IHP was able to use the money to buy £2 million worth of medicines, helping more than 350,000 people in Ethiopia, Sierra Leone, Somaliland, Venezuela, Guatemala, Lebanon and Liberia.

Its chief executive Adele Paterson said: ‘Without the support of donors such as Jersey Overseas Aid, we wouldn’t be able to reach the many millions of people that live in countries with some of the weakest health systems in the world.

‘The effects and complications of Covid-19 infections have escalated the need and demand for medical treatments. Our partnership with JOA enabled £2 million of vital medicines and supplies to be delivered at just a tenth of their cost.’

Aside from the Covid schemes, the report showed that JOA was continuing to help in three of world’s worst ongoing crises, in Syria, Yemen and the Central African Republic, and supporting Rohingya refugees.

In addition to the £3 million of humanitarian aid, JOA also provided development grants to aid agencies in its three core areas – dairy, financial inclusion and conservation.

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