People of Jersey help to “put kindness into action” says British Red Cross
Today, 23rd September, Jersey Overseas Aid (JOA), the island’s official, publicly-funded relief and development agency, releases its 2020 Annual Report.
“Unsurprisingly, 2020’s humanitarian funding was dominated by projects addressing the devastating effects of Covid-19. Of the £3m allocated to humanitarian relief in 2020, half (just under £1.54m) was dedicated to Covid-19 specific grants,” said Minister for International Development, Deputy Carolyn Labey.
The British Red Cross, which received £350,000 in humanitarian aid from Jersey Overseas Aid for its Covid-19 response programmes, has said that Jersey is helping to “put kindness into action”.
In 2020, JOA made 10 humanitarian aid grants, in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, to trusted partners including the British Red Cross, CARE and HelpAge International, through which thousands of desperate people across the world were reached.
The British Red Cross received £150,000 in May 2020 to support essential healthcare services to vulnerable communities and improve community resilience to the economic impact of Covid-19. In the second half of 2020 the British Red Cross received a further £200,000 to limit the transmission of the virus amongst Rohingya refugees in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh.
“There’s a bond between Jersey and the British Red Cross which began during the Second World War and 75 years on as we face this global health emergency, the link between the Red Cross and the island remains strong. With the help of JOA, the British Red Cross can continue to put kindness into action to support those who need it most around the world,” said David Peppiatt, Interim Executive Director International at the British Red Cross.
Two of JOA’s grants, totalling £185,000 enabled International Health Partners (IHP), to send medicine, worth more than 10 times its value (£2million), reaching over 350,000 people in Ethiopia, Sierra Leone, Somaliland, Venezuela, Guatemala, Lebanon and Liberia.
Adele Paterson, CEO of International Health Partners, said: “Without the support of donors such as Jersey Overseas Aid, we wouldn’t be able to reach the many millions of people that live in countries with some of the weakest health systems in the world. The effects and complications of Covid-19 infections have escalated the need and demand for medical treatments. Our partnership with JOA enabled £2m of vital medicines and supplies to be delivered at just a tenth of their cost.”
Away from Covid-19, JOA maintained its commitment to three of the world’s worst protracted crises – Syria, Yemen and the Central African Republic – as well as continuing its support for Rohingya refugees through UNHCR.
In addition to the £3m pledged in humanitarian aid, JOA also continued to make life changing multi-year development grants to aid agencies and NGOs across its core thematic areas; dairy, financial inclusion and conservation.
“I am delighted to be able to say that Jersey has stood, and continues to stand, alongside countries of all sizes, playing our part in the international response to Covid-19. JOA’s rapid response funding to trusted international partners has allowed some of the world’s best aid agencies like the Red Cross and International Health Partners to reach hundreds of thousands of people across the world,” said Deputy Carolyn Labey, Minister for International Development.
2020 also saw JOA become one of the only States bodies to achieve a perfect score at internal audit. Its receipt of top marks in both ‘Control Environment’ and ‘Direction of Travel’ recognised years of reforms and improvements which have markedly increased JOA’s effectiveness as a donor and accountability to the taxpayer.