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Our emergency cash response for COVID-19

April 21, 2020 Update: We have officially launched Project 100. Project 100 is, by far, the most ambitious Covid-19 private direct payments initiative to date in the United States.

March 19, 2020 Update: We have officially announced the launch of our program; you can find more details here.

On March 18, 2020, we shared an update on GiveDirectly’s response to COVID-19 with our mailing list, seen below.

If you’d like to stay informed as we announce further program details, sign up for our mailing list here.


I hope this note finds you and your families healthy, and safely navigating this tough storm.

I’m writing to share some brief updates:

  1. To ensure the safety of our recipients and staff, we have paused door-to-door operations. Recipients who have already been enrolled will still be able to be paid digitally and we’ll be exploring ways to shift toward a contactless operational model across our eight countries in operation (digital cash certainly helps here).

  2. We’re glad to see the U.S. gov’t proposing cash transfers. We’ve been implementing and advocating for direct transfers for over a decade, and think the bipartisan support reflects the strength of the evidence, and how far the conversation has come.

  3. We’re planning a (contactless) cash transfer response to COVID-19 in the U.S. We recognize that gov’t responses, while large in scale, can’t meet the full need — whether by excluding some of the most vulnerable (e.g., elderly, undocumented, etc.), not providing sufficient resources, or simply being delayed. To that end, we’re planning to launch a public cash transfer program in the U.S., leveraging our experience with cash in disasters and contactless operations.

We hope you’ll join us in supporting those who need the help. We’re collecting advance donations to draw from if and when we choose to launch. If we decide not to proceed, we will be offering folks refunds.

If you have the means and are interested, please donate here.

Michael Faye
President & Co-Founder