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RBA Launches Fund to Support Supply Chain Workers Affected by COVID-19 Pandemic

RBA allocates $500,000 for direct worker-relief and longer-term CSO projects that support workers

ALEXANDRIA, Va., July 22, 2021 – The Responsible Business Alliance (RBA) today announced a worker fund that will distribute $500,000 over two phases: Phase 1 will immediately and directly assist foreign migrant workers who need urgent support due to negative impacts caused by the COVID-19 pandemic; and Phase 2 will support projects that create longer-term protections for vulnerable workers in international supply chains, including projects that address adverse impacts of the pandemic.

The first phase, providing direct assistance to workers, is currently underway and applications are being accepted for the second phase composed of longer-term projects proposed by civil society organizations with local operations in key regions.

The RBA has a long history of providing direct support to workers in supply chains, from efforts to reimburse recruitment fees, to enabling worker feedback through the RBA Voices app, to providing financial assistance that enables migrant workers to return to their home countries. The RBA has also partnered with many civil society organizations (CSOs), which are essential actors in the effort to improve supply chain labor and environmental practices.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profoundly negative impact on many workers, especially in regions that are key to RBA members,” said Rob Lederer, CEO of the Responsible Business Alliance (RBA). “To help support these workers, the RBA will immediately provide crucial assistance to workers while evaluating longer-term CSO in-region projects for funding.”

This fund will be disbursed in two phases:

  • Phase 1: Migrant Worker COVID-19 Relief Projects, aimed at directly assisting foreign migrant workers who have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic and are not able to gain sufficient assistance from their employers or local government. An example of fund disbursement could include assisting foreign migrant workers who are stranded in a destination country due to factory closure or termination of work without repatriation.
  • Phase 2: Civil Society Organization Projects, aimed at creating longer-term protections for vulnerable workers in international supply chains, including projects that address adverse impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Priority consideration will be given to small- and medium-sized organizations with local or regional on-the-ground operations that can have a positive impact.

Disbursements for Migrant Worker COVID-19 Relief Projects will begin immediately. CSO Project applications for Phase 2 will be accepted until October 15, 2021. More information about the fund, including FAQs and the application form, can be accessed on the RBA website or by contacting


About the Responsible Business Alliance

The Responsible Business Alliance (RBA) is a nonprofit coalition of leading companies dedicated to improving social, environmental and ethical conditions in their global supply chains. The RBA has a Code of Conduct and a wide range of programs, training and assessment tools to support continuous improvement. The organization has a global footprint, with offices in North America, Europe and Asia. The RBA and its Responsible Minerals, Labor and Factory Initiatives have more than 400 members with combined annual revenues of greater than $7.7 trillion, directly employing over 21.5 million people, with products manufactured in more than 120 countries. For more information, visit and follow @RBAllianceOrg.

Media Contact:

Jarrett Bens, Senior Director of Communications
Responsible Business Alliance
Phone: +1 571.858.5721

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