2020 was one of the most brutal years in recent history for the world’s most vulnerable people. Climate shocks, violent conflict, and widening inequality—combined with the rapid and devastating spread of COVID-19—challenged our coalition in unprecedented ways. However, amid an unexpected shift to our now-digital environment, our community rose to that challenge.
The InterAction team prepared this Annual Report to showcase our many collective accomplishments over the past year. In it, you will find stories highlighting our coalition’s advocacy for continued and robust foreign aid, urgent action to address climate change, and unified response to the pandemic. A new portfolio dedicated to reframing Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) approaches within the NGO sector will help ensure accountability and equity across our work.
I am inspired and humbled by what we have accomplished in our now remote environment. No one could have predicted the outbreak and spread of COVID-19, but our agile and ongoing response demonstrates the value of this community. Through high-level meetings with senior government officials at every level, targeted communications campaigns, and extraordinary information and resource-sharing, we elevated the needs of the world’s most vulnerable amid pervasive global social and economic upheaval.
The pandemic’s spread did not compromise our other workstreams, however. Building upon early efforts galvanizing our Membership to lead the fight against climate change, InterAction released the NGO Climate Compact in April 2020. The Compact represents a commitment to concerted, unified, and urgent action to address climate change across our sector. The Compact’s four areas of commitment lay out steps that Members can take between 2020 and 2022 to generate dialogue and learning, advance initial efforts, and kickstart initiatives to lay the groundwork for progress in the years to come.
In May 2020, while all eyes were on the pandemic, the disturbing and violent murder of George Floyd at the hands of American police ignited a global referendum on policing and racial inequality. The NGO sector has done too little for too long to combat racial inequity—not only in the communities we work with but also within our own organizations. Beyond a statement of support, InterAction quickly mobilized funds to create a timely portfolio with a qualified Director to lead efforts to enhance and promote DEI policies within our organization, across the coalition, and broadly across the international NGO sector.
This pandemic is still far from over—it sometimes seems that every day brings a new challenge. However, as I read this report, I am hopeful for the future of our coalition and the work we do every day to serve the world’s most vulnerable. InterAction is a powerful alliance because of our Members, donors, partners, and other stakeholders and their efforts worldwide. We are committed to standing by your side to make the world a more peaceful, just, and prosperous place—together.
Be well and stay safe,