Grassroots International provided more than $900,000 in emergency grants last year for social movement-led disaster relief and recovery, plus additional support for ongoing pandemic response.
Our emergency funding (including 100% of funds raised from emergency appeals) always goes to frontline movement organizations, so they can meet the immediate needs of people in crisis while also continuing their ongoing work to address the root causes of these crises.
While wealthier countries opened up with largely vaccinated populations over 2021, both the Covid-19 pandemic and its economic fall-out remained widespread and devastating for much of the world.
Part of what exacerbated and prolonged the pandemic in the Global South were the multiple, overlapping crises that were already facing frontline communities, from ecological disasters caused by the climate crisis, to increasing authoritarianism and militarization, to growing economic inequality.
Social movements approached the pandemic with the conviction that if Covid could not be separated from other crises at present, neither could its response. Grassroots International has made a special effort to support our movement partners and allies in holistic responses to the pandemic, while bolstering their critical ongoing work. Highlights of the work supported by our Covid response grants, from ancestral healing houses in Garifuna communities of Honduras to mass distribution of agroecologically produced food in Brazil, are detailed in our recent report Response and Resistance: Social Movements, Covid & Converging Crises.
In addition to Covid response, we also provided other emergency response grants, as the number and intensity of crisis situations facing our partners increased. This includes emergency grants for relief and recovery work by social movements in:
- Central America, when Hurricanes Eta and Iota struck back-to-back, leaving more than 200,000 people without homes while still at the height of the pandemic
- Haiti, when a devastating 7.2 magnitude earthquake rocked the southern part of the country, hitting peasant communities hard
- Palestine, when the Israeli government launched its fourth war on Gaza with deadly airstrikes, in tandem with violent expulsions of Palestinians from the neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah in East Jerusalem
These and many other efforts supported by our emergency fund enabled social movements to serve as first responders to the pandemic in communities largely bypassed by government support. And each was part of a broader set of strategies aimed at longer-term change.
Grassroots International disbursed a total of $905,000 in emergency grants in 2021. Our emergency funding (including 100% of funds raised from emergency appeals) always goes to frontline movement organizations, so they can meet the immediate needs of people in crisis while also continuing their ongoing work to address the root causes of these crises.