(Cairo 29th of June 2020) ECWR publishes a report titled “Supporting NGOs for Women in times of the COVID-19 Outbreak.” ECWR conducted a survey that has been filled in by a hundred NGOs from 19 governorates. The aim of the survey is to recognize the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on the ability of NGOs to support women and the effect of COVID-19 on women. The results of the survey revealed the extent of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the private sector, especially NGOs, since the spread of the virus and the consequent closure measures. The study revealed that 67.2% had suspended their field activities, and 47.4% had their funding partially or completely lost, while 44% of NGOs’ workers were forced to work from home. However, the NGOs did not hesitate to play an important role in limiting the effects of the pandemic and facing the COVID-19 crisis. The loss of funding was not considered to be a hindrance, and NGOs resorted to local financing and collecting donations to provide the necessary financial resources to carry out activities. The NGOs also relied on the contributions of the Board of Directors by 66.4%, then on donations by 56.9%, then annual membership contributions by 30.2%, and government and international financing came at the lowest percentages, where government funding came 6.9%, and international financing 5.2%. The NGOs were able to play many roles in the light of this pandemic, and varied activities were provided by the NGOs. It was revealed that 77.6% of the NGOs under the study confirmed their work in raising awareness among citizens by providing information on the virus and how to avoid infection, while 69% of NGOs worked on providing financial support and 42.2% of NGOs worked on providing psychological support. Considering the effect of COVID-19 on women, the NGOs monitored many of the challenges facing women in light of the COVID-19 outbreak, in which 80.8% of NGOs revealed that women suffered from financial problems, 65.4% of NGOs said health problems, 50% of NGOs indicated that women are subjected to violence from husband’s family, and 49% of NGOs pointed to the loss of work as an impact of COVID-19 on women. Women were also affected by weak and ineffective health services related to family planning and reproductive health as a result of the health sector’s prioritization of the COVID-19, where 45.2% of the NGOs under study stated that those services are difficult to provide, and 15.4% stated that they are not available. Women were also affected by the weak response of protection agencies, legal authorities, and courts, especially when exposed to violence. For instance, 52.9% of the NGOs under study confirmed that those services faced difficulty in responding to women exposed to violence, and 32.7% indicated that they were not a priority. The report concludes some recommendations at both levels; women’s protection and NGOs support.
This platform is part of the Axis 1 "Strengthening the capacities of equality actors" of the Priority Solidarity Fund "Women for the future in the Mediterranean" funded by the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs and led by the European Institute of the Mediterranean, in the framework of the project “Developing Women's Empowerment” labelled by the Union for the Mediterranean.