Building back better: Working toward a better post-pandemic world

Dr. Dorothy Nyambi

We are now past the 100-day mark of the COVID-19 pandemic. MEDA has continued to keep our focus on delivering impactful results. While our North American operations remain in work-from-home status, our country offices are in varying stages of return to work – only where it is deemed safe and permissible. Thankfully all our staff remain healthy and safe. MEDA’s work is as important, if not more relevant than ever. This pandemic not only impacts the livelihoods of vulnerable people, it threatens food supply chains. This is where your support has helped us have great impact over the years, this is where you can continue to help us make an impact.

Over these many months we have accomplished things that would normally take years: a new vaccine is in development, personal protective equipment designed and international development organisations are reimagining and redesigning how they deliver their work. Innovation is not limited to these concrete examples. We have seen that as human beings, we can change our course and adapt quickly to pressing needs. This flexibility and willingness to adapt are worldviews we must carry forward.

The global pandemic is redefining our world. We have the unique opportunity to learn from the issues and opportunities that the virus has presented or accelerated, such as food insecurity, impacts of climate change, and gender inequalities. This is a time for global transformation – a time when priorities are redefined. We have the chance to build back better after this pandemic.

At MEDA, we have used this time to research how to redesign our programs and adapt to the ongoing challenges of working in a fractured and inequitable world. We are reflecting on how we can be part of the decolonizing of international development by working in partnership and shifting power from the Global North to the Global South.

Our work continues around the globe. For many projects, we were granted no-cost extensions, allowing us to ensure safe practices are in place before moving forward with certain project activities.

Our EMERTA team in Ethiopia have adapted to the current limitations on physically visiting clients to share agricultural and business information by sharing important information on agricultural techniques by partnering with Farm Radio International to share knowledge and spread awareness.

Our UHBDP team in Ukraine have created a web platform on their website that aggregates local agricultural produce available for purchase. This platform links customers directly to producers contact-free. Consumers can view and select products from individual websites or Facebook pages.

Even though COVID-19 is placing increasing pressure on women and families, we remain committed to building a gender equitable world; you can read how we’re doing this by reading our 10 Commitments here.

There are brilliant minds and passionate people that see the need in their communities and want to contribute to change. Change is possible and the times we are living now call for this to be accelerated. The opportunity to rebuild after a crisis is a privilege that we will not take lightly.

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  • MEDA (Mennonite Economic Development Associates)

    MEDA is an international economic development organization that creates business solutions to poverty. We work in agri-food market systems, focusing primarily on women and youth in rural communities in the Global South. Our success is measured by income, improved processes, increased knowledge, and the creation of decent work.

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