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This article is part of a series featuring inspiring stories of local action #fromthefrontlines of COVID-19 in the Global South. For more, visit our COVID-19 page and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

As COVID-19 sweeps across the globe, we face an unprecedented crisis that is having an impact on us all in varied but profound ways. My hope, and that of everyone here at the Fund for Global Human Rights, is that you, your loved ones, the activists we support, and the communities they serve remain safe and healthy during this challenging time.

We do not know what will come next, but we do know one thing—local action can help save lives right now.

We need local leaders to fill the gaps and mobilize their communities when public systems are overwhelmed or break down. We need local activists to make sure opportunities for prevention and protection are afforded equitably, and that vulnerable people receive the support and services they need. We need local watchdogs to ensure that emergency measures put in place now do not extend beyond this crisis and restrict fundamental rights and freedoms.

The local leaders we work with understand the needs of their communities better than anybody else, and they are committed to promoting and protecting their rights. Through this crisis, they will continue to be on the front lines—doing everything they can to protect those around them. The Fund is proud to stand beside them, now and always.

While our staff are working remotely for the foreseeable future, we remain committed to our work. All around the world, Fund staff are ensuring the local leaders in our network are safe, healthy, and have the resources necessary to assist their communities. As the virus spreads, we will provide continued support and are prepared to take emergency actions as needed.

The Fund’s operating model is built for this type of dynamic response because agility is a cornerstone of our approach. Our flexible funding allows those we support to adapt plans and reallocate resources to meet shifting needs. By ensuring local leaders are well-resourced and able to adapt, we can address this crisis head-on. As a leader in human rights philanthropy, we are joining with funders across the world to commit to urgent action.

In this difficult moment, the Fund, the activists we support, and our global community must find strength in solidarity. Together, we will weather this storm.

Stay connected via our Facebook, and Twitter for updates on how Fund-supported groups are protecting the health, safety, and essential rights of people worldwide.

Thank you for your shared commitment to human rights.

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