17 Mar Civil Society Response – COVID19

Belgrade, March 17, 2020

Remembering the days of genuine solidarity, coordination and accountability shown by the civic sector to the citizens of Serbia in 2014, and aware of the seriousness of the current situation and the declared state of emergency, we would like to announce that Civic Initiatives will launch a new set of activities in the coming period. The aim of these activities will be a joint response of civil society to the problems that citizens will have during the COVID19 pandemic and the state of emergency in Serbia.

The idea is that we first map out all current needs and possible activities, and then create a coordination platform, in order to facilitate each other’s work and eventually join forces.

Please send us information about the needs you may have (eg if you work with vulnerable groups), activities you plan or ideas you may have that could be organized more easily in collaboration with other civil society organizations.

Please provide us with basic information on your needs and any planned activities or ideas for work related to the state of emergency period. Write to us about additional help you believe colleagues from other organizations can provide you (field information for monitoring activities, protective equipment, consumer goods, online tools, IT support, contacts with competent institutions), as well as other actors.

We would appreciate if you would submit your information and ideas by Friday, March 20th by filling out the form. We will then contact you and propose further steps of mutual coordination.

Fill out the form

These are difficult days for us, our organizations, citizens of Serbia, but also the whole world. We believe that as civil society organizations, we have an additional responsibility to show solidarity and coordination and thus set an example for all other actors in our society.

In particular, please forward this information to the addresses of as many organizations as you can. Especially to those who operate in specific areas and/or locally, because their work is particularly at risk in this situation, such as:

  1. CSOs who have direct activities, mainly at the local level, with beneficiaries from vulnerable social groups who will be in a state of heightened need (elderly, people with disabilities, children, people in collective centers, patients, victims of violence, mental patients, refugees, prisoners, etc.)
  2. CSOs involved in monitoring the human rights situation of different social groups, the state of rule of law and democracy, the work of local and republic institutions, due to the potential danger of narrowing the space for action caused by the introduction of the state of emergency in the Republic of Serbia.

Although we must be at a physical distance, for the time being, we certainly remain united to protect all those who count on us.

Civic Initiatives will, along with you, continue to monitor, the fundamental freedoms that are important to the work of civil society and ensure timely alerting in the event of difficult conditions or the inability of organizations to operate.