COVID-19 community fund to provide support for vulnerable women and girls

Minister for Women Jan Tinetti today announced a $2 million community fund that will provide support for women and girls adversely affected by COVID-19.

“We know that women, particularly those who are already vulnerable, are disproportionally affected by the kind of economic disruption caused by COVID-19,” Jan Tinetti said.

“We want to act quickly to reach those women and children detrimentally affected by the current lockdown who are not being reached by other government supports.  We know from last lockdown this kind of funding can help safeguard women’s wellbeing as they deal with reduced working hours, job losses, increased caring responsibilities and an increase in domestic violence.

“Many NGOs supporting women continue to face reduced income but increased demand for their support and services. This is particularly the case for organisations supporting Pacific women and their families in South Auckland.”

From 17 September relevant organisations can apply for up to $50,000 each for work which will improve outcomes for women and girls. This may include a range of initiatives such as providing essential items, culturally-appropriate mental health support and support for women in unsafe family situations.

“I hear about so many women who look after their family first and put themselves last, regularly going without food so their children have enough to eat. 

This will help to ease the worst impacts of lockdowns on women in need and help them find a firm footing to recover well,” Jan Tinetti said.

Applications for the fund will open on 17 September and can be made via the Ministry for Women’s website. Applications will close on 1 October.

Media contact: Ravi de Silva 021 805 451

Notes for editors:

  • The funding is to support organisations who work to improve outcomes for women and girls. The objectives of the fund are to:
    • prioritise grassroots investments - making sure funds are spent to improve outcomes for women, and where they are needed most
    • support women in all their diversity who face intersectional challenges within their communities such women in Māori, Pacific, rural and migrant communities
    • support the Ministry’s and government’s priorities for women and girls - ensuring healthy and safe communities, reducing family and sexual violence and improving child wellbeing.
  • Each organisation can apply for up to $50,000 funding. Funding will be allocated shortly after the application deadline closes.
  • A $2 million fund for community organisations that support women and girls in Aotearoa was established last year and provided funding to 155 largely volunteer organisations working at grassroots level with hard-to-reach communities.