Response and Vision Fund awards $770,000 to seven groups committed to global South communities impacted by COVID-19 

Investment from philanthropies confirms commitment to climate, gender, and debt justice 

February 10, 2021, New York – The Response and Vision Fund (RVF) announced today the second slate of grants to address the devastating economic impacts that workers and communities face across the global South as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This latest round of investments focuses on climate, gender, and debt justice, and aims to catalyze reforms grounded in preserving the rights and power of workers and communities while strengthening accountability and addressing underlying inequities in the financial system. 

The RVF was launched in July 2020 by the Ford Foundation, Fundación Avina, Humanity United, Laudes Foundation, Omidyar Network, Open Society Foundations, SAGE Fund, True Costs Initiative, Wellspring Philanthropic Fund, and Wallace Global Fund. The fund is committed to identifying innovative and collaborative ways to uplift workers, migrants, and marginalized groups in the spirit of building back better and reimagining an economic model that works for people and the planet. The seven grantees in this second slate all contribute to those efforts – particularly by connecting worker and community-led organizations with international networks that are leveraging power to influence global actors. Each initiative will receive $110,000 USD (from a total pool of $770,000 USD) for up to 12 months. The new initiatives are:  

  • Scaling up climate finance and ensuring climate action in the midst of COVID-19 and economic crisis, led by Asian Peoples’ Movement on Debt and Development (APMDD). With this funding, APMDD plans to scale up commitments and delivery of climate finance, as well as the programs and policies funded by climate finance and other fiscal responses to COVID-19.
  • Debt justice in times of COVID-19 and multiple crises led by Latindadd, a network of 23 civil society organizations in 13 Latin American countries. This funding will allow Latindadd to address capacity building and advocacy resources  towards expanded and extended debt relief and restructuring, with emphasis on a legal framework for private lenders. They will also promote a debt sustainability assessment in line with the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
  • COVID-19/Mining Nexus: Global Allies Monitoring Group led by MiningWatch Canada, a founding member of the COVID-19/Mining Nexus Global Allies Monitoring Group. The group was formed in March 2020 in response to situations emerging around the pandemic. The group seeks to foster sustainable local economies and provide a space where civil society organizations and local communities can build international support for urgent actions.  
  • Developing a regional campaign to promote a green, just recovery in Latin America, led by the climate justice organization AIDA. This initiative seeks to implement a regional climate justice campaign in Latin America by uniting existing movements around climate justice and solutions that put human rights, gender, social welfare, and democracy at the center of proposals for a just recovery. 
  • Towards a better and community-controlled global food system led by GRAIN and bilaterals.org, seeks to ensure that solutions to current global crises involve local and environmentally sustainable food production, trade, and consumption. The project is global in scale and addresses trade, financial investments, corporate power, peasant struggles, and food systems.
  • Women-Centered Response during the Pandemic, led by Asia Floor Wage Alliance, will build the leadership of women garment workers to lead the fight for decent work at national and international levels; investigate and document cases of gender-based violence and harassment in factories; and organize women workers to negotiate and demand brand accountability. The initiative will also work to ensure that post-COVID recovery plans (including remedies, policies, and direct relief) include a gender focus.
  • Organizing Chilean Hospitality Workers for Power in Return to Work and Safe Working Conditions, by Global Labor Justice-International Labor Rights Forum and in partnership with UNI Americas, will build worker power in the Chilean hospitality sector through organizing, campaigning, and bargaining. Through this initiative, women, young people, and potential migrant workers will benefit from a safe and fair return to work process, safe and healthy work conditions, and increased power in the workplace and democracy.  

The RVF’s first round of initiatives was announced in September 2020 and centered on building and shifting power to workers and frontline communities; holding corporate, financial, and government actors accountable; and shaping economic recovery to promote systemic change.  

The first wave of RVF grants had yielded considerable impact. With the garment industry hard hit during the pandemic, the RVF supported the #PayUp Campaign and the Workers Rights Consortium that have helped recoup $22 billion in canceled orders from 25 brands and retailers. RVF has also supported the Centre for Economic and Social Rights and DerechoAmbiente y Recursos Naturales in developing research, policy briefings, public statements, calls to action, and early warning systems that document trends and economic behaviors during the pandemic, and the need to center people first within the recovery. Additional information about the work of those grantees is available here 

The new round of initiatives will build on and complement those of the first slate and support the development of a new economic model that works for the people and the planet. 

The Response and Vision Fund is an initiative of the Funders Organized for Rights in the Global Economy (FORGE) collaborative, a dynamic space for learning, aligning, and pooling funding strategies for a just economy. FORGE brings together funders working across multiple domains including corporate accountability, climate justice, women’s rights, and workers’ rights. 

For more information on these Response and Vision Fund supported initiatives, please visit: 

forgefunders.org/response-and-vision-fund