As the world faces an outbreak of novel coronavirus (COVID-19), our thoughts are with all of you in our global community. This is a difficult time, with many unknowns. But one thing is certain: we must continue being in solidarity with the most vulnerable.
While the virus has not yet spread to most of the remote areas where Root Capital works, these areas are at risk. Poverty, inadequate healthcare, lack of infrastructure, and market disruption are likely to compound the negative impacts we’ve already seen in the US and elsewhere. Therefore, it is more critical than ever that we invest in enterprises that can provide rural families with sustainable incomes and community-based services. Root Capital is among the few organizations committed to working with these vulnerable communities during this crisis. Your support and partnership is what allows us to maintain this vital engagement.
The health and safety of our global staff and our partners in rural communities is our #1 priority. We are closely monitoring updates about COVID-19 and taking guidance from public health experts. I want to share with you what we’ve done so far:
• Restricting travel: We have restricted business travel in accordance with government directives in our countries of operation. This decision was taken to protect not only our staff, but also those who could be inadvertently infected, particularly our clients in rural communities who might not have access to health services.
• Moving to remote work: We have temporarily closed our global offices and employees are working remotely. Our technological capabilities enable employees to access all systems remotely, and to continue liaising regularly with our rural clients.
• Continuing to advance our mission: With our remote operations up and running, we are still able to provide much-needed credit and capacity building to remote agricultural enterprises. We have suspended all on-site advisory engagements, and are currently assessing what training and other services we can offer remotely. We are in close contact with our clients to ensure that we make every reasonable effort to maintain business and support those who count on us.
• Keeping our community informed: We are committed to communicating our response to members of our community—clients, donors, investors, and other partners—in a timely fashion. As circumstances evolve, we will continue to provide updates.
Thank you for your patience and understanding as we adapt to meet these new challenges. We are more grateful than ever to be part of a global community that believes, wholeheartedly, that transformative change is possible and that big problems can be solved when we come together.
Finally, during this trying time, I think we could all use a dose of inspiration. So, in the coming weeks, we will continue to share stories by email and social media about the rural communities where we work—stories of impact, grit, and resilience. We hope these stories will be a welcome respite, and a reminder that we are all stronger together.
If you have any questions or concerns, feel free to reach out. Most of all, take care of yourselves.
Chief Operating Officer
To learn more about how you can protect yourself from COVID-19, visit the World Health Organization’s website.