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COVID-19 Response

Responding to the COVID-19 crisis by helping the world's most vulnerable women survive

Illustration of women standing together for infographic

More than 18,000 women have been served during the pandemic with cash assistance, radio awareness, phone calls, hygiene kits, WhatsApp groups and more.

Illustration for cash assistance during COVID-19 infographic

Cash & Sustenance Support

  • 6,190 program participants have received emergency cash assistance.
  • 2,250 fruiting trees were distributed in Afghanistan before COVID-19 related country shutdowns to ensure women have a future source of food and income.
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Science-Based Information

  • 1,660,053 people in local communities in South Sudan, DRC, and Nigeria were reached by radio programs discussing COVID-19 information and women’s issues.
  • 5,443 program participants were reached via messaging platforms with information about Women for Women International’s COVID-19 response and prevention.
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Lifesaving Health Kits & Personal Protective Equipment

  • 5,900 hygiene kits containing hand sanitizer, toilet paper, gloves, masks, and soap were distributed in Afghanistan and Nigeria.
  • 81,518 masks were distributed to protect the communities we serve, 47,113 of those were made by women in our programs.
  • 18,213 bars of soap were distributed within communities we serve, 6,384 of those were made by women in our programs.

What We Are Doing to Help

Your support has helped us provide women with the accurate information and health resources they need to prevent the spread of disease. From handwashing to hygiene kits, women across the world are better prepared to protect themselves, their families, and their communities from coronavirus, with many drawing on the power and leadership they learned during the program to educate others.

We are constantly monitoring the local situation. As contexts around COVID-19 change in some locations and governments can ease restrictions, in-person trainings are carefully and gradually resuming so women can continue their journey of transformation. In the face of this tumultuous pandemic, we are taking every precaution to ensure everyone’s health and safety, which requires flexibility with training schedules and may mean continuing rolling closures. But we remain committed to supporting women in the middle of crisis.

  • South Sudan remains under a national lockdown that includes educational facilities such as our own. Our office in Yei is open, but trainings are not being held. The lockdown is expected to be lifted soon.
  • In Iraq, the new coronavirus variant has been discovered, so the hours in which a business can operate have been limited. Luckily, our training falls in that window! Though precautions are being taken, a full national lockdown may be instituted to hamper the spread of the new variant.
  • The Rwandan government has in place rolling lockdowns that prohibit interprovincial travel but allows minimal activity within provinces. These measures have not been hugely disruptive to our trainings.
  • Currently DRC, Afghanistan, and Nigeria are under few COVID-19 restrictions; however, our staff in these countries will continue to maintain and encourage proper COVID-19 precautions.


Thank you for your support! A quick message from the frontlines:


Sponsorship During the Pandemic


In addition to our country programs, our sponsorship program was affected by the global pandemic. Initially, all enrollment was halted in order for our teams to reach participants and provide the resources they immediately needed. Now, enrollment has resumed for our programs in Iraq, Rwanda, DRC, Afghanistan, and Nigeria. Women are being invited back to training in phases and in small classes to limit personal contact and crowded areas. Enrollment events are taking place.

Now that women in certain areas have begun to resume training, sponsors who have already been matched will be able to continue supporting them.

The health and safety of the women we serve and our staff are our highest priority, and smooth adaptation and transition would not be possible without you and our global community. As we strive to return to our old “normal,” connection, communication, and solidarity will be crucial to shared safety and success. Now, as ever, women around the world need access to health resources and to know their power as leaders of the fight against coronavirus. With your continued sponsorship support and sister connections, we’re developing new and innovative ways to stay in touch with program participants and recent graduates, reestablish stability, and continue to provide lifechanging wellness, economic and social empowerment training resources to our sisters.


Read Our COVID-19 Blogs & Updates

Distance Won’t Stop Our Support


Across all our country programs, our teams have innovated solutions that help women protect against coronavirus while supporting them with the many other pressures that come alongside crisis.

Mobilizing Women

In countries such as Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iraq, and Bosnia & Herzegovina, women in our programs and graduates are using tailoring skills to sew masks. In many of these countries, they send masks to support local efforts, such as health workers and police officers, along with their own family and neighbors.

Our DRC team has collaborated with women who produce soap by providing them materials, purchasing soap from them, and distributing them to other women in the program who need it.

Graduates of our program have joined the local government response in Nigeria to educate people on COVID-19.

Distributing Life Saving Resources

We have distributed over 4,700 hygiene kits to women in Afghanistan, providing them with soap, hand sanitizer, masks, gloves, toilet paper, and even leaflets to remind them of how to prevent spreading the disease.

Where possible, our teams have also continued providing women with their cash stipend. In South Sudan, women also receive bars of soap when they pick up their cash stipend.

In some countries, women receive their stipends remotely through banks and mobile money transfers.

Technological Innovations

Our team has been using technology to stay connected to women’s needs and provide women with trustworthy, accurate health and hygiene information.

Through cellphone groups on social media and apps like Viber, women in our Iraq program have been able to stay in contact and be each other’s support system. These groups have been crucial to addressing rising violence against women.

Where women have less access to cellphones, our teams have worked with groups to set up communication trees to stay informed.

Radio programs are both a popular and trustworthy medium in communities where we work. We have collaborated with health experts from the local government and NGOs to educate women and their communities on the pandemic through these programs.

In Kosovo, though, where many women have more access to technology, our trainings have transitioned digitally, so women can continue learning remotely.


Hope Beyond the Headlines is a new series with CEO of Women for Women International, Laurie Adams to shine a light on inspiring stories of strength and resilience from our global Women for Women International family and on how we are using hope and innovation to respond to this crisis. Learn how the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis and global uncertainty it has caused is impacting the women we serve.

At times of uncertainty, hope is the guiding light towards a better future.

Women with her two daughters
Please consider directly supporting women facing violence and displacement as a result of this escalating pandemic by making a donation today.