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What a shock for everyone. Who would have thought a few months ago that what we have all experienced around the globe with the COVID19 crisis in the past weeks would ever be possible? For once everyone seems to be sitting in the same boat, facing the same problems: the economic emergency stop has impacted all of our businesses, from the breeders and suppliers in the tropics to the exhibitors around the world. From one day to the next most were left without income. The more fortunate ones received financial help from their governement. But in many countries there is little or no public help in this crisis.

Breeders and their families in the tropics are certainly among those most affected. They are extremely dependent on butterfly farming to earn their livings and feed their families. But they are also the foundation of our entire industry. Without butterflies, no exhibits. These are the reasons why the board of IABES decided to create an IABES COVID19 relief fund. The fund contained 40’000 US$ of which about 8‘000 US$ were donated by different IABES members (exhibitors). A  big THANK YOU to the following institutions and private persons for their support:

Vlindersafari, Netherlands

Parques de Mariposas, Spain

Papiliorama, Switzerland

Stratford Butterfly Farm, UK

Papilonia Prague, Czech Republic

Mainau, Germany

Museum of Life and Science, USA

Victoria Butterfly Garden, Canada

John Tokarck, Ashley Perish, Sarah Jenkins, Tomas Kraus, Christine Baltz

Regional coordinators were appointed by the board for each breeder country and asked to assess the need creating lists of those breeders linked directly or indirectly to IABES and most in need of help. IABES would like to thank the regional coordinators for their time and effort !

In the month of May IABES, with the help of the regional coordinators, was able to disburse the funds to a total of 519 breeders in Malaysia, the Philippines, Kenya, Tanzania, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Ecuador and Suriname. The appreciation for the grants, which in most cases equalled approximately two weeks of wages, was enormous and will surely motivate the breeders to continue working with butterflies.