A young Nicaraguan girl wearing a medical face mask is standing in the sun, and frowning at the camera. She is standing in front of two thatch-roofed houses that were damaged and in disarray due to Hurricane Iota.

The Patterson Foundation has generously contributed $100,000 towards NetHope’s work to restore telecommunication abilities for hurricane-affected communities in Central America. The Patterson Foundation hopes its donation will spur other organizations to also support NetHope’s disaster response.

“Connectivity has become a vital resource during times of crisis and upheaval, and our nonprofit Member organizations rely on us to get them online so they can efficiently deliver aid and services to those who need it most,” said Lance Pierce, CEO of NetHope. “In addition, NetHope provides connectivity projects so that the people who are affected by disasters such as these hurricanes can find their loved ones, source food and water, and of course access health care in chaotic circumstances.

“When funders like The Patterson Foundation respond quickly to join forces with us, we are able to move faster and we can empower our Member organizations to reach more people with life-saving aid. The needs in the affected areas are great and NetHope has the experience and is poised and ready to deploy even more help. We urgently invite other funders to match The Patterson Foundation’s gift so we can help more people during this time.”

Hurricane Eta initially weakened critical telecommunication infrastructure in parts of Central America when it made landfall as a Category 4 storm. With the arrival of Iota, a Category 5 hurricane, only days later, the fragile infrastructure was decimated by the intense winds and torrential rain. In addition to the widespread damage, hundreds of thousands of people in Nicaragua, Honduras, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Colombia and other countries are without reliable ways to communicate with loved ones, friends and officials. Following Covid-19 protocols, NetHope is consulting with government officials and our Member organizations in the areas affected to evaluate their needs for communications and connectivity to support the response effort.

“NetHope has a record of successfully leveraging their partnerships and resources to quickly restore vital communications infrastructure following a wide variety of large-scale challenges and disasters in vulnerable communities across the globe,” said Debra Jacobs, president and CEO of The Patterson Foundation. “We have seen how NetHope is able to respond while strengthening communities with proper telecommunications capacities for future disasters. The Patterson Foundation is proud to contribute to NetHope’s effort in Central and South America following Hurricanes Eta and Iota.”

NetHope partners with global leaders in technology and philanthropy – including Microsoft and Facebook – and a consortium of about 60 international nonprofits to design, fund and implement innovative approaches to solve development, humanitarian and conservation challenges worldwide. Our work includes responding to large natural disasters and providing telecommunications relief to the communities involved.

Since 2010, The Patterson Foundation has contributed more than $2.2 million to strengthen NetHope’s operations around the world. The funds have gone toward response efforts for disasters like the Syrian refugee crisis, the Ebola epidemic and Hurricane Dorian.

To learn more about NetHope and our response to Hurricane Iota, visit nethope.org. For more information about The Patterson Foundation, visit thepattersonfoundation.org.


About The Patterson Foundation

The Patterson Foundation strengthens the efforts of people, organizations and communities. The Foundation focuses on issues that address common aspirations and foster wide participation, along with ways organizations learn and share as they evolve. For more information, please visit thepattersonfoundation.org and connect with @ThePattersonFdn on Twitter.

About NetHope
NetHope empowers committed organizations to change the world through the power of technology. NetHope, is a consortium of nearly 60 leading global nonprofits. Its membership collectively delivers over 60 percent of all annual, international, non-governmental aid. NetHope unites with technology companies and funding partners to design, fund, implement, adapt, and scale innovative approaches to solve development, humanitarian, and conservation challenges. Together, the NetHope community strives to transform the world, building a platform of hope for those who receive aid and those who deliver it.

Filed Under: Emergency Preparedness and Response