Sida, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, has signed a new four-year agreement with HelpAge International to support the organisation’s work to protect the lives and rights of older people around the world.
”Older people are often one of the most overlooked groups in humanitarian and aid settings and we are very grateful to Sida for recognising the importance of the work we carry out to support and advocate for rights of older people in low- and middle-income countries. We couldn’t do the work we do without the highly valued support of Sida which enables us to improve the lives of millions of older people,” said Justin Derbyshire, Chief Executive of HelpAge International.
The support granted by Sida is even more relevant in the context of the COVID-19 response where people over the age of 60 are particularly at risk. The agreement provides additional funds to support the work being carried out by HelpAge to protect older people at risk from the pandemic.
“The partnership we have with Sida, including additional support to respond to the coronavirus pandemic, is highly valued. In the countries where we operate, health systems are poor and every day of lockdown is denying thousands of older people access to much-needed opportunities to earn an income and support their families,” said Justin Derbyshire.
Sida has supported the work of HelpAge since 2012, supporting the activities of a network of different organisations working with older people across 85 countries. The new agreement runs from 2020 until 2024.
“As with all crises, the poorest and most vulnerable are the worst affected and many older and sick people are being hit extra hard by COVID-19,” said Carin Jämtin, Director General at Sida.
“With an ever-increasing proportion of older people in the population, health care systems in low- and middle-income countries must be strengthened. These challenges are likely to be exacerbated by COVID-19, especially in low- and middle-income countries. HelpAge’s elderly perspective is particularly important for improving the access of older people to health and social care.”