Collaborate to rebuild better tomorrow!

The impact of COVID-19 has been widespread, with the mandatory shutdowns to confining people to their homes have changed the dynamics of societies and economics.  The pandemic tested the resilience of our existing systems, from healthcare, education, supply chain to financial markets. Investment in people, processes, and infrastructure is needed more than ever in rural communities to address the changing consequences of the pandemic.  It is time for the players in the co-op sector to collaborate to rebuild self-reliant communities.

This year the International Day of Co-operatives on July 3, 2021, celebrates the theme to #Rebuildbettertogether. It is a reminder that people-centric co-operative model adapts to the need of the communities and help in providing sustainable long-term solutions.

Last year, we partnered with Global Affairs Canada for a one-year COVID-19 food security emergency response project in Ethiopia and Ghana. 4R Solution projects and Fertilizer Canada collaborated to help smallholder farmers, particularly women with critical inputs, to establish sustainable local food systems by increasing access to agro-inputs and markets.

As the pandemic spread, we prioritized the on-going projects in countries and how best we could support them remotely. With the help of our partners through the INVEST project, we created and enrolled Mthangati and Kangachepe micro-insurance policies in Malawi to increase household resilience. Farmers supported microinsurance as an effective risk mitigation strategy against unfavorable weather conditions or life events.

COVID-19 pandemic is leaving an unprecedented impact on society, especially for women. With lockdowns, there has been an increase in domestic responsibilities, loss in livelihoods, and rising domestic violence, thus reversing the progress.

At CDF Canada, empowering women in the co-op is at the center of our work. As the economies started to open after the initial lockdown, we began with the SEW, Ukraine project to foster economic prosperity for 2,200 women.  The project will support women with access to employment and training. In addition, the project will help women with higher skills to establish new micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs).

COVID-19 is not only testing the existing systems but also the resilience of vulnerable communities. As we build back better together, we are thankful to all partners, donors, staff and volunteers who have tirelessly worked over the last year to support the co-op communities.

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