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South Asia Regional Update

NICOG's Food Distribution (7)

The COVID-19 pandemic has devastated the world in so many ways. Countries around the world are experiencing healthcare crises, economic downfalls, lack of basic resources and mental health struggles. India especially has been impacted in a very skewed manner because there happens to be an imbalance in the impact that this virus is having on the people of this nation.

The lower income groups are significantly impacted by the nation-wide lockdown that has been imposed because they have lost their jobs. As per a report from the International Labour Organization, over 400 million Indian working in the informal sector are affected due to this crisis and are falling deeper into poverty. Most of these individuals work in a city outside of their hometown and were left stranded when the lockdown was enforced. The emotional and financial toll that this pandemic is taking on this population is manifest.

It is essential for us to support these communities as they navigate through these tough times. We realize that equipping more entrepreneurs, developing skills and creating jobs can be the only answer to some of these challenges. Our presence in South Asia enables us to provide training, mentoring and advocacy as channels of support to enable people to address these challenges and to transform lives.

As an organization during this time we are specifically connecting with all the LCI leaders, BA leaders, partners through WhatsApp, Skype, Zoom calls to assure them that we are with them in this situation. We are also encouraging them to upskill themselves during this lockdown period. We have introduced our first online micro business curriculum training program on April 6th with 32 participants.

We believe in time of such crisis God is presenting opportunities to help build and develop our small business owners. We are reminded of Lamentations 3:22-24: The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.