Frontline Latino Workers Receive Immediate Support to Offset Impact of COVID-19
Oakland, California, August 20, 2020 — HIP announced today they have committed $6 million in grants to Latino-serving organizations in Mexico, Central and South America, and the United States. The grants focus on small businesses and communities impacted by COVID-19 via the Essential Fund, Rapid Response Migration Fund, Civic Participation Fund, Farmworker Relief Fund, PowerUp Fund, and the COVID-19 Emergency Fund Against Gender Violence. Grants ranged from $5-50k with 116 organizations in the U.S., 54 organizations in Mexico, 11 in Central America, and 8 in South America.
The U.S. Latino community is disproportionately suffering in the ongoing pandemic; according to CDC data published by the New York Times, Black and Latino people are on average three times as likely to be infected by COVID-19 than their white neighbors, and nearly twice as likely to die. Essential service-based jobs, including home health aides, food delivery workers, and agricultural workers, are disproportionately held by immigrants, as well as Afro-Latino/as; as a result, 84% of Latinos are unable to telework—meaning they must put their and their families lives at risk in order to pay their bills. A large number also lack access to health care (with more than twice the probability of being uninsured as non-hispanic white population), making potential COVID-19 infection both a health and financial risk, and discouraging individuals from seeking early treatment.
“Our responsibility at this moment is to support families, workers, women, essentially the most vulnerable within our communities and the organizations and leaders on the ground who through absolute resilience and courage have worked tirelessly to provide support to Latinos who are putting themselves at risk every day. The social safety net has done little to address the exacerbated need of Latino essential workers on the frontlines. Our trusted partners have shown incredible agility to deploy direct financial assistance quickly and help build a system of support for our community.” said Ana Marie Argilagos, President and CEO of Hispanics in Philanthropy.
In the U.S., less than 16 percent of Latinos have been able to work from home and an increased number are disproportionately part of industries deemed essential. HIP’s Essential Fund tallied four hundred proposals and awarded $2 million to more than 90 organizations across the U.S. and territories, making us a witness to the clear economic and social disparities that Latino and immigrant communities are currently facing.
The pandemic has also impacted the Census and get-out-the vote outreach efforts which has already shown low response rates from communities of color. The Civic Participation fund supports grassroots organizations as they transition their field operations to innovative digital outreach efforts. The funds support eight organizations in six southern states.
Latin America and the Caribbean have become hotspots of the pandemic, exacerbated by weak social protection, fragmented health systems and profound inequalities. As of August 14, 2020, the region had almost 5.9 million confirmed cases (28% of cases worldwide) and almost 231,000 deaths (almost 31% of deaths worldwide), with the virus continuing to spread at high levels in several countries. Brazil, Mexico, Peru, Colombia, and Chile have the highest numbers of deaths in the region, and Brazil and Mexico have the highest death tolls worldwide after the U.S.
Lockdown measures put in place to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 unfortunately put many women and girls at a higher risk of abuse and have made it harder for them to seek help. HIP’s Gender Program launched the Emergency Fund Against Gender Violence to support Latina-led organizations combating domestic and gender violence in Mexico, the U.S. and Puerto Rico. These organizations are responding to the needs of women and girls who have been victims of gender violence exacerbated by the pandemic.
Countless grassroots leaders have proactively stepped in to provide those on the first line of defense the tools they need to survive this pandemic. The heroes behind the scenes are addressing the vulnerability of migrants, LGBTQ+, Afro and indigenous Latinos, and the U.S. workers who occupy the lowest-paying jobs to make sure they are safe from contracting the virus, afforded safe working conditions, and can adequately feed their families. HIP’s Rapid Response Migration Fund has channelled $550,000 so far to support migrant-serving organizations across the Americas.
All these efforts would not be possible without the support of our partners at Blue Meridien, Oak Foundation, Hartford Foundation for Public Giving, The Marguerite Casey Foundation, Julian Grace Foundation, The MacArthur Foundation, The Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, The David & Lucile Packard Foundation, Casey Family Programs, Open Society Foundations, Tinker Foundation, Rockefeller Brothers Fund, Fundación Ángel Ramos, The California Endowment and the Nathan Cummings Foundation.