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ADRA Europe’s response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

Seventeen countries in Europe received ADRA Network financial support to implement the relief activities.

ADRA Europe’s response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

Bern, Switzerland.Andreas Mazza, EUDnews, ADRA Europe.

The last 20 months have caused fear, isolation, pain and loss, creating an uncertain future. Together with church volunteers, ADRA teams responded by bringing hope, relief, and ‘to serve so all may live as God intended. Boldly and passionately, they served on the frontlines by providing shelter and food for the homeless, supporting healthcare and mental health services, providing education, and helping vulnerable seniors, youth, children, and families worldwide.

The World Health Organisation declared a worldwide pandemic on March 11, 2020. The Covid-19 has severely hit Europe, with all countries being strongly affected. By October 2021, more than 60 million people have been contaminated, and nearly 1.250.000 have lost their lives. This was an unprecedented crisis for the continent that created dramatic social challenges. Consequently, the poorer and most vulnerable in society have been affected, and middle-class people in Europe have been forced to look for government or social support.

Employees from ADRA European offices daily work with people in developing countries (on the global South). The pandemic severely hit these countries, and an additional 71 to 100 million people were pushed into extreme poverty.

ADRA teams in Europe offices were called to react in a fast and organised way. All over the region, partnerships were created with local churches, local authorities and other partners to support the most affected society. ADRA teams from “richer” donor countries reacted by strengthening their links with their government. Thus, they secured funding for relief activities in poorer countries. ADRA teams, active inside their own countries, sought additional funds for their national response programs.

The strategy

All projects implemented in Europe were in partnership with the Adventist church, focusing on three main pillars:

1. Education, by supporting the children to have access to education even if the schools are closed;

2. Health: By distributing personal protection materials and providing psychosocial support;

3. Livelihoods, by distributing food and vouchers to needy families, minorities and the homeless.

Projects and Impact

The ADRA Network started initial projects as a response to the COVID-19 virus outbreak. Seventeen countries in Europe received ADRA Network financial support to implement the relief activities. Emergency Management Unit administrated the funding at ADRA International (Washington, USA). The operational management was coordinated by ADRA ERO (Brussels, Belgium). The projects were implemented from March to December 2020, mainly in 2-3 months.

Total projects volume 509.288 USD (488.488 US$ from Network/LDS)

17 countries in Europe
Supported by the network with ADRA I/LDS funding (+ DFRO funding).

9 from the Inter-European Division (Belgium, Bulgaria, Czechia, France, Italy, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Spain)

8 from the Trans-European Division
(BiH, Croatia, Greece, Montenegro, Netherlands, N. Macedonia, Serbia, Slovenia)

6 other countries in Europe were active with their funds or support from other partners (Albania, Austria, Finland, Hungary, Poland, UK).

Besides the supported 17 European countries, the other 6 countries in Europe got active with their resources.

One of the primary purposes of supporting the 17 countries with initial response funding was to help them start the relief activities immediately and simultaneously do fundraising for further actions. This goal has been achieved by 15 countries (from 17). Besides that, several countries received financial and material support from companies; 5 could secure public funding.


ADRA boldly confronted this pandemic crisis together with church volunteers. It served on the frontlines by providing shelter and food for the homeless, supporting healthcare and mental health services, providing education, and helping vulnerable seniors, youth, children, and families in Europe and worldwide. Indeed, we were all in this together.

At the same time, ADRA employees and volunteers didn’t remain silent. Together they boldly called for global solidarity in the form of access to equal and quality education for all learners, universal welfare support (health and social services), and support for civil society organisations.

The pandemic crisis brought an unprecedented test on every single human and organisation. "The ADRA Europe team expresses appreciation to every ADRA employee, volunteer, and leader for dedicated hard work, quick adjustments, sparkling humour, innovation, and creativity", so the ADRA Europe Press Office. "Yet, there is still a long way ahead of us. Poorer developing countries face even harder health and economic challenges on a long road to recovery. There is a need to appeal to the global community, governments, and decision-makers to express tangible solidarity toward developing countries. Solidarity with developing countries is a moral decision. Failure to pass this international solidarity test will leave deep wounds in countries left behind, paving the way for all manner of extremism and new crises – from pandemics to conflicts – which would threaten everyone."

The Press Office of ADRA Europe declared: "The world and its inhabitants had a painful lesson of a deeper understanding of human ties. We are all interconnected and are members of one human family. As Seventh-day Adventist Christians and as ADRA teams, we put people first and will continue to do so in the years to come because we are in this together. Stronger together!"

Full reports available here:

European ADRA pandemic report

Global ADRA pandemic report

More about ADRA

ADRA delivers relief and development assistance to individuals in more than 118 countries, regardless of ethnicity, political affiliation, gender, or religious association. By partnering with local communities, organisations, and governments, ADRA teams can deliver culturally relevant programs and build local capacity for sustainable change.

ADRA is the global humanitarian arm of the Seventh-day Adventist Church—part of the 22-million Adventist community, with hundreds of thousands of churches globally and the world’s largest integrated healthcare and education network.

In Europe, ADRA is present in 30 countries.

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