The Faith-Based Advantage: A Case Study on the Adventist Development & Relief Agency’s Response to Humanitarian Impacts of COVID-19 as a Faith-Based Organization
Large-scale health emergencies like COVID-19 oftentimes result in widespread humanitarian impacts. Due to their long-standing relationships and involvement within local communities, along with extensive networks and support from faith-affiliated institutions, faith-based NGOs carry a unique advantage in reaching the most vulnerable during such crises. The Adventist Development & Relief Agency’s (ADRA) experience during its global COVID-19 response showcases how keeping a local presence in-country and fostering partnerships with affiliated faith institutions and constituents can result in a wide reach of programming. By providing dedicated personnel and small seed-funding, developing a flexible global strategy involving strong business continuity plans and emphasis on its faith base, and supporting the sharing of information and lessons learned among local offices, faith-based NGOs are capable of quickly delivering life-saving interventions to vulnerable communities. ADRA and the affiliated Seventh-day Adventist Church have proved during the first year of COVID-19 that they are stronger together, highlighting the importance of utilizing faith base when implementing humanitarian interventions.
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