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The Impact of COVID-19 on African Civil Society Organizations

Civil Society

The World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic on 11 March 2020. While Africa still accounts for relatively few deaths, the numbers are rising. Governments in Africa and elsewhere have instituted wide-ranging measures to curb the spread of the disease including travel restrictions, night-time curfews, the banning of large gatherings and social distancing. These measures had swift and dramatic social and economic consequences for all sectors of society, including civil society organizations (CSOs). CSOs have a long tradition of performing crucial developmental, humanitarian and advocacy functions across Africa, often under challenging conditions. As a result, there can’t be any effective response to COVID-19 without the involvement of CSOs. However, at a time when their contributions are more critical than ever, they are also confronted with the negative impact of the pandemic on their operations and sustainability. This report is the first of its kind to focus exclusively on the impact of COVID-19 on African CSOs. It is based on a survey conducted by @AfricanNGOs and EPIC-Africa between 29 April and 15 May 2020.

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