Thank you from all of us at ActionAid

As 2020 draws to a close, we at ActionAid want to take a moment to say a huge thank you for being part of a global movement standing together with women claiming their human rights and campaigning against injustice.

From signing our petitions, spreading the word on social media, joining our events, chipping in to fund critical work and being part of our community activist network, we’re so proud of what we’ve achieved together this year.

Here’s a snapshot!👇

Khosi Nomnqa, Women Affected by Mining in United Action, taken by Miora Rajaonary/ActionAid

In February, Australian Government agency Export Finance Australia ruled out funding Woodside’s disastrous billion-dollar oil and gas project in Senegal. If this project goes ahead, it could have devastating consequences for Senegal’s coastal communities––especially women who rely on the fishing industry to feed their families and communities.

EFA’s decision is a win for women and our planet. We couldn’t have done this without the help of ActionAid supporters who helped put our export credit agency on alert.

In March, as the world went into lockdown, the ActionAid community came together raising nearly $150,000 to support women mobilising to stop the spread of COVID-19 in countries like Bangladesh and Vanuatu.

And in that same month, while there was global focus on tackling COVID-19, Australian mining company Resgen was hoping to quietly push ahead with their destructive Boikarabelo coal mine in South Africa.

But you didn’t let them.

We delivered thousands of your names straight to Resgen, calling on the company to not proceed with the mine until they consult with women and community members living in nearby towns like Lephalale.

Your ongoing support also meant that Francina Nkosi––who lives in Lephalale––could attend Resgen’s online investor meeting and raise her community’s concerns about the environmental and human rights impacts of the proposed mine.

Zoom image of ActionAid activists saying 'Thank you for supporting a feminist recovery'

In the lead up to the October Federal Budget, ActionAid activists met their local MPs and Senators from across the political spectrum online, asking them to raise the aid budget by $2 billion over the next four years so low-income countries can respond to COVID-19, save lives and advance women’s rights.

Over 25,000 people––including ActionAid supporters like you––signed the pledge to #EndCOVIDForAll. Together we raised our voices calling on the Australian Government to provide vital support to low-income countries hardest hit by COVID-19.

ActionAid ambassador Judith Lucy wearing an #EndCOVIDForAll mask

📸 by ActionAid ambassador Judith Lucy

Thanks to an energetic public campaign that included voices from the aid and development, health and faith sectors, the Government has taken some important first steps to support our neighbours to respond and recover from the health, social and economic impacts of COVID-19, including $123 million for the Gavi COVAX Facility, $304.7 million for the COVID-19 Recovery Fund for the Pacific and Timor-Leste, and $500 million to assist in the safe and effective rollout of a COVID-19 vaccine in the Pacific and South East Asia.

The Government’s new, additional overseas development assistance amounts to almost $1.1 billion over three years––close to the $2 billion ask required to adequately assist people most in need across the world.

While we welcome the increased support for the Pacific, Timor-Leste and South East Asia, aid to Afghanistan, Palestine, Bangladesh, and countries in North and Sub-Saharan Africa––all facing severe insecurity and conflict––have been drastically cut. In a time of urgent global need and widening gender inequality, Australia’s leadership is vital to support communities to rise out of poverty. 

In October, as part of the Global Week of Action for Debt Cancellation, together with our allies at Asian Peoples’ Movement on Debt and Development, we organised an online concert-rally for an evening of music, poetry and speeches from speakers around the world.

From the Philippines to Uganda, over 150 people gathered online as we called on wealthy governments like Australia to take real action on debt. Across the country, ActionAid activists walked the streets of their local neighbourhoods to show decision-makers to #CancelTheDebt of low-income countries to save lives.

ActionAid activists walked the streets of their local neighbourhoods to show decision-makers to #CancelTheDebt of low-income countries

In November, our community got active and stepped up to end violence against women with our Strong Women Challenge. Over 500 people took part and raised vital funds for ActionAid’s work providing critical safe spaces and support for women fleeing violence.

And just this month, we had our very first Giving Day where in 24 hours, together, supporters like you generously chipped in to support the training of 400 women leaders on the frontlines of injustice.

We’ve accomplished so much together this year. Above all, I continue to be in awe of the resilience of the women ActionAid works with in the face of ongoing challenges. From supporting women escaping violence throughout COVID-19 to distributing emergency rations to families in need, local women have stepped up to lead and keep their communities safe. And together with your support we are campaigning to address the root causes of these injustices.

Thank you for supporting us every step of the way.

PS: Right now, Cyclone Yasa has devastated Fiji and women leaders are mobilising. Will you donate $150 and give the gift of empowerment by supporting women leaders to rise?