The health and safety of ACDI/VOCA staff, volunteers, partners and beneficiaries around the world is our top priority.  ACDI/VOCA leadership is in close touch with and responding to the needs of each of our project teams around the world.  Our Washington, DC office is closed and staff are working remotely, continuing our mission, supporting the well-being of our staff and their families, and playing our organizational role in slowing the spread of this virus.

Over the past two weeks we have certainly seen a change in tone around us as the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) situation has evolved very rapidly. True to the definition of “pandemic,” the effects of the virus have become clear all around the world.

Quite rightly, the emphasis at the moment is on controlling the medical aspects of this crisis globally. We share that emphasis here at ACDI/VOCA Group (ACDI/VOCA and its affiliates Tanager and AV Ventures) because the safety, health, and wellbeing of our colleagues and partners is our very highest priority, and we also recognize our shared responsibility to prevent the further spread of the virus.

That is why we have closed our Washington, D.C. home office and have asked our Washington staff to work remotely for the foreseeable future. The situation is unique and evolving quickly for each of our projects around the world. ACDI/VOCA Group leadership and project directors are in close touch with each of our field teams to ensure we are doing all we can to keep our staff, volunteers, partners, and beneficiaries safe and healthy.

In uncertain – and even unprecedented – times like these, our Core Values help us continue to pull together in service of our important work. One of those Core Values seems to me very relevant right now:

Resilience

We are innovative, adaptive, and versatile …

ACDI/VOCA Group is turning its focus to the resilience of our people and the adaptability of our systems in the face of the various new challenges confronting us.

We will see the medical aspects of COVID-19 coming under control in the weeks to come. The economic effects, however, will take longer to resolve. Here in the United States, in Europe, and in all the countries where we work, there will be economic problems caused by the virus which will remain after the direct health issues have been resolved. We are already mobilizing to respond to these residual economic challenges, and I am confident that we will address them appropriately as we work our way back to normalcy with our projects.

ACDI/VOCA Group’s Vision is a world in which people are empowered to succeed in the global economy. We make that happen through our Mission of achieving better lives for people and communities by increasing economic prosperity and social inclusion. We are confident and optimistic that once we overcome the initial shocks that the COVID-19 pandemic has thrust upon us, our teams and our partners together will build upon our collective resilience to continue moving us toward that vision.

In the meantime, all of us at ACDI/VOCA Group extend our best wishes to everyone to stay healthy and safe as we work our way through this.

Charles J. Hall

Charles J. Hall serves as president and chief executive officer of ACDI/VOCA. Prior to joining ACDI/VOCA in June 2018, Mr. Hall served at the Export – Import Bank of the United States. During the five years prior to this U.S. government service, he was chief executive of a London-based nonprofit that designed and managed community-based agroforestry and forest protection programs in sub-Saharan Africa. Prior to that, he and his wife founded a food manufacturing business in the United Kingdom. He also served as an emerging markets corporate finance banker and served in the U.S. Navy and as a U.S. Foreign Service officer with the Department of State. He holds degrees from the University of Pennsylvania and Columbia University in New York.

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