A note from our CEO and Board Chair
For all of us, 2020 was a year like no other: the COVID-19 pandemic, school shutdowns, economic losses, an inflection point in the history of confronting racial injustice, and learning to live, work and be in community in radically different ways. In a year where everything changes, sometimes the most important lesson is to allow ourselves to be changed.
One of the first changes for the END Fund was to pivot to COVID-19 response work. When schools shut down, it wasn’t possible to deliver school-based deworming or traditional NTD care. But it was possible to contribute significantly to the global prevention and handwashing campaign – which both helped to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and intestinal worm infections. It was also possible to support NTD health workers to participate in COVID response work. By launching the COVID-19 Response Fund and deploying support to 17 partners in 23 countries, we were able to reach millions of people with critical health services and disease prevention messages. We also helped keep local health workers employed so that when NTD services were able to resume, no time was lost in restarting treatment programs. We are grateful to all of you who joined these critical and timely relief efforts.
We also allowed ourselves to be changed by the 2020 global reckoning on racial justice and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). Like many, we took the time to deeply reflect, have difficult conversations, and consider thoughtfully how we can do even more to contribute to a more just, equitable, and inclusive world. We have started by making improvements in our own policies and systems – from reviewing hiring and due diligence practices, expanding the diversity of our own staff and board, setting up a DEI Working Group, analyzing the language we use, centering voices most proximate to the communities we serve, and much more. We are committed to an ongoing learning journey and to taking a DEI lens on all decisions and activities in the coming years. We are particularly grateful to those of you who shared expertise, perspectives and support as we bolstered our work in this area, and look forward to working with you for years to come.
In 2020, we also conducted an extensive, inclusive, and joyful process to update and affirm our organizational values, which we are delighted to publicly launch in this annual report. We are excited to live these values in everything that we do: Human Dignity, Passionate Focus, Relational Approach, Exemplary Stewardship, and Entrepreneurial Spirit. And while these are not profound changes to our existing values — but rather a grounding in who we are at our best — the engaged process of discussing and clarifying these values bonded us together and gave us a renewed sense of urgency, clarity and enthusiasm for how we will do our work in the decade ahead.
By the last quarter of 2020, we were so delighted to be able to support the restarting of many NTD treatment campaigns. And while the “how” did have to change in some key ways – i.e., more personal protective equipment for health workers, additional training days, more door-to-door treatment instead of mass gatherings – the “why” stayed the same. Upholding a vision that everyone, everywhere deserves to be free of neglected tropical diseases is at the heart of why we exist. And by the end of the year, almost 92 million people were able to safely receive NTD treatments, with 479,426 health workers trained and mobilized as part of the process.
As we kick off 2021, we are delighted to feel the energy and momentum of a new year! So many countries have kicked off treatment programs, new collaborations are launching with water, sanitation and nutrition partners, and our entire team has been leaning into taking smart risks, increasing investments in innovation, and working to support even more proximate leadership on our pathway to sustainable programs. We are delighted that 2021 both commences a new END Fund 2030 Strategic Vision, as well as the entire NTD community has rallied around the new WHO 2030 Roadmap for ending NTDs.
We are grateful to our entire community of supporters for making this work possible and look forward to working with you closely in the years ahead to truly see the end of NTDs!
Honoring Community Health Workers
Community health workers (CHWs), numbering more than a million, have been at the forefront of every health crisis across Africa. With the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, CHWs have been the crucial link between their communities and the central health system in curtailing transmission.
This year’s annual report is dedicated to the health workers and volunteers who make our effort to end neglected tropical diseases possible. Through highlighting their stories, we want to celebrate and honor their leadership, courage, and determination to protect their communities.
“I started as a community volunteer 3 weeks ago. I started doing this work because I just felt that I should help my parents and my brothers, who are suffering during this situation. I feel safe distributing the medicines in my community. We were provided with resources like hand sanitizer, face masks, and most importantly knowledge to advise people on how to prevent the spread of COVID-19.”
Jummai Muhhamed, 23, community health volunteer in Bore Village in Gombe, Nigeria.
“To become a good community health worker, you must be energetic and be willing to evolve. I am passionate about my work and am always ready to help my community whenever I am called upon. This year, I am encouraging my people to wash their hands and take precautions to avoid COVID-19.”
Catherine Razanany, 60, community health worker, Ambohimiadana, district of Vatomandry, Madagascar.
Our impact in 2020
92M People treated
136M Treatments distributed
Treatments valued at $286M
479,426 Health workers trained
11,534 surgeries performed
Where We Worked in 2020
Update from each Fund
The END Fund manages a portfolio of programmatic funds to advance our vision to ensure that people at risk of NTDs have the opportunity to live healthy and prosperous lives.
A great deal of our work to end NTDs was temporarily halted in April because of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, we quickly adapted to leverage our ecosystem of expert local implementation, advocacy, and private sector partners to help slow the spread of COVID-19. We developed a framework to find areas where we could utilize our existing relationships and expertise to provide interventions like handwashing campaigns and equipment that would both help prevent COVID-19 and strengthen the foundation of our work to end NTDs.
Through the COVID-19 Response Fund, the END Fund worked with 17 organizations in 23 countries, reaching millions of people with interventions. In South Africa, we worked with JCDecaux to place billboards with World Health Organization messaging on the importance of handwashing. In Ethiopia, we partnered with the NALA Foundation to build handwashing stations near health facilities, churches, markets, bus stations, prisons, and shelters for internally displaced people. Our partner in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), United Front Against River Blindness, targeted more than 8 million people with COVID-19 prevention messages and installed hundreds of handwashing stations.
We remain grateful for the confidence and trust placed in us, with over 1,700 donors contributing to the END Fund throughout 2020. Donations came from around the world including Australia, The Bahamas, Brazil, Hong Kong, Lebanon, New Zealand, Nigeria, South Africa, Spain, and the United Arab Emirates to name a few, which shows the increased enthusiasm around the mission of END Fund, the work of our partners, and the affirmation of our attainable vision to tackle NTDs in our lifetime. We value the support of our donors and anchor investors who provided support with multi-year gifts, which are critical for the sustainability of the END Fund and our partners’ long-term projects. You can find a full list of our partners here.