To this end, we want to send a message to all our friends, colleagues and partners in the human rights struggle to express that we are thinking of them, and we would like to invite our grantee organizations for an open dialogue regarding the outbreak of the virus and how this may affect their work.

The NHRF team in Oslo are still working at normal capacity, but in line with the Norwegian Authority’s guidelines and measures to contain the virus. This means that we have temporarily ceased all travels and are working remotely. We understand that the current outbreak is worrying and that it is impacting countries differently, and also governments are responding differently. Many of the organizations that we support often work in rural areas and communities with limited access to public health facilities that are able to offer adequate services to respond to the coronavirus outbreak.

In any case, the NHRF recommends everyone to follow the advice of local authorities, and where there is none or the information is lacking; please look at the advice from the WHO when it comes to measures to mitigate the spread of the virus. We also encourage everyone to take care for your team, volunteers, communities, families and beneficiaries in the best possible way.

When it comes to the NHRF-funded project activities and our work with our grantee organizations, we are trying to respond in a flexible, supportive and understanding manner. The NHRF is naturally understanding of delays and the effect the virus outbreak may have on the work of our grantees and that adjusting of project activities might have to be made. If anyone is considering doing so or have already done so, please get in touch with your project coordinators so we can work together to make the necessary budget reallocations or find other ways in which we can support in the best possible way.

Additionally, the NHRF is currently undertaking a mapping of the impact the outbreak has on our grantee organizations, but also on human rights defenders and our large community of partners. We are in continuous dialogue with our grantee organizations and we have sent out a survey to better understand how the crisis will develop locally in the time ahead. In this way, the NHRF will obtain a better overview of the capacity of our partner organizations and how we can tailor our support accordingly.

Lastly, we want to thank all our grantees and partners including donors for their hard work and dedication in this uncertain time and for flexibility. The NHRF secretariat is always available should anyone have any questions about the above or any other matter, and we always welcome input on how we can collectively respond to this dire situation.

In solidarity,

The NHRF team

Photo credit: Mónica Orjuela/NHRF.