News Release: ADRA and the Adventist Church Team Up in Historic Collaboration to Respond to the Global COVID-19 Crisis

ADRA worked closely with Adventist churches in 7 out of 10 projects to deliver assistance while many churches were closed

SILVER SPRING, MD (November 19, 2020) — Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic this year, the Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA), the global humanitarian arm of the Seventh-day Adventist church, has been responding globally to help nearly 20 million survive the significant health challenges and economic impact that the pandemic has created. This global response has created 422 projects so far in 96 countries and has resulted in a historic collaboration between ADRA and the Adventist church during a time when many churches were closed.  

ADRA has outlined this collaboration and the significant impact of this global response in a new COVID-19 Global Report, which ADRA published. View the report HERE.

“ADRA reaffirms its commitment to continue to respond to the urgent needs of disadvantaged communities heavily impacted by the COVID-19 global crisis.  Our global emergency taskforce, in coordination with the Adventist church and our trusted partners is making significant progress in helping vulnerable families recover from the difficult challenges of this pandemic,” says Michael Kruger, ADRA’s president. “We are grateful to the Adventist church for the significant support it has provided, as well as to our donors and volunteers for their continued assistance. We pray that this aid will give comfort and hope to every person we help and a sense of Jesus’ love and compassion.”

ADRA’s COVID-19 Global Report outlines how the agency pivoted from existing development projects to scale up a major response by establishing a global taskforce to implement a new approach. This helped ADRA scale up humanitarian assistance worldwide and leverage limited funds into a $26 million response that included Adventist church entities, governments, multi-lateral organizations, nonprofit organizations, corporations and other trusted partners to ensure vulnerable communities had access to life-saving essentials and life-sustaining support. This included awareness and health promotion, water and sanitation, health training, personal protective equipment (PPE), medical supplies, food security, and psycho-social support to vulnerable populations, frontline workers and first responders.

WATCH VIDEO ON THE COVID-19 GLOBAL RESPONSE REPORT IN ENGLISH, FRENCH, SPANISH, OR PORTUGUESE.

Seventy percent of ADRA’s COVID-19 response operations were established or adapted rapidly in partnership with the Adventist church with minimal or no funding. Despite the office closures and disruptions caused by the pandemic, ADRA successfully executed projects in multiple countries and multiple continents, including the following regions:

NORTH AMERICA 69 PROJECTS IMPACTING 714,000 PEOPLE

The Harbor of Hope Food Pantry in Michigan arranges food items in boxes for distribution. Photo Credit: Victor Rayno

ADRA partnered with the North American Division of Seventh-day Adventists (NAD) to donate USD$4 million in personal protective equipment (PPE), medical supplies, food and cash assistance to Adventist-run food pantries across the United States and Canada.  The donation supported medical facilities facing severe supply shortages in U.S. suburban communities such as Texas, California, Maryland, and New York. More than 200 pallets of PPEs, face shields, globes and essential medical supplies were delivered to the facilities. In Canada, 510 Adventist volunteers from 39 churches also delivered food baskets, hygiene kits, psychosocial support and cash vouchers to nearly 30,000 people.

INTER-AMERICA – 10 PROJECTS SERVING 54,000 PEOPLE

A beneficiary almost in tears as she receives a cash voucher from ADRA’s country director, Fritz Bissereth, to help her get food.

ADRA used innovative ways to adapt or change existing projects and create new ones to support migrants, refugees and vulnerable populations during the pandemic. The initiatives totaling USD$339,000 ranged from health prevention awareness campaigns, mental health counseling, food security, crisis management training, to PPEs and medical supply donations, as well as water and sanitation projects.  ADRA’s relief operations in this region covered at least nine countries, including Colombia, where hundreds of Seventh-day Adventist employees donated one day of their salary to support families affected by the pandemic.  In El Salvador, efforts helped more than 6,000 small business entrepreneurs and families working in agricultural projects to adapt their skills to continue earning livelihoods during the coronavirus crisis. 

SOUTH AMERICA – 101 PROJECTS HELPING 764,000 PEOPLE