Not in Isolation: Let's Create a New Normal

29 July 2020

Topics: Coronavirus

Coronavirus testing in Gaza

Video: Coronavirus testing in Gaza
Our local partner on the ground in Gaza, the DSPR, is helping people living in poverty to access urgently needed medical, dental and psycho-social care. Image credit: DSPR/Act for Peace
The total number of coronavirus cases worldwide has now exceeded 17 million people and more than 660,000 lives have been lost.

As Victoria reports hundreds of new cases each day, and with millions of Australians now relying on government assistance, Australia is facing  significant challenges. 

Yet, we are better placed than other nations in Africa, Asia, and the near east, where the world’s most vulnerable people are facing multiple levels of tragedy. 

Many of the 80 million refugees around the world are living in cramped and overcrowded conditions, with limited access to food, healthcare or basic sanitation, and are at greater risk of infection.

And the impact of lockdowns, job losses, and disruption to aid and remittances has led the World Food Program to warn that we are on the brink of ‘multiple famines of biblical proportions’.

Thanks to you, our local partners are working on the ground in these crisis zones, providing emergency assistance and long-term support to families with urgent needs.

Refugees - who’ve been forced from their homes, their livelihoods and their loved ones – are especially vulnerable right now. This image shows a refugee camp in Jordan where Syrian refugees are living with limited access to food, healthcare and sanitation. Image credit: Joel Pratley/Act for Peace
Through their established programmes, networks and expertise, our partners are helping to tackle the new and urgent challenges of COVID-19 and living in lockdown.

In the Philippines, where stringent lockdowns have left families jobless and hungry, our partner is using church networks to supply people with food rations and sanitation kits. 

In the state of Tamil Nadu, India, our local partner, OfERR, ensures that healthcare workers are living in remote camps to attend to the elderly, people living with disability, and people suffering from communicable diseases. And when hospitals prescribe unaffordable medications like nutrient tablets to people recovering from coronavirus, OfERR is covering the cost. 
Though the world’s most vulnerable communities have particularly urgent needs right now, there is hope. 

This pandemic has shown that governments can take rapid and radical actions for the good of everyone.

And, as we’ve seen, we can suppress this deadly virus, as well as minimise deaths and suffering, by co-operating with, and relying on, each other.

There are no fences standing between any of us and this virus. It has affected us all. But not equally.

While Australia has one of the world’s best healthcare systems, too many of our global neighbours are ill equipped to deal with a pandemic.

That’s why we’re asking for people like you to sign a pledge calling on the Australian Government to help #EndCOVIDForAll.

The more people like you who sign the pledge to stand in solidarity with all our neighbours, the more encouragement our government will have to play its part in stopping the spread of the coronavirus in vulnerable nations.

Together, we can call on the Australian Government to protect those who are most vulnerable to COVID-19 and its impacts in low income countries, strengthen health systems and protect essential aid programs, and help kick-start economic recovery in the region to secure a bright future for all.


Let’s work together to create a new a new normal that leaves no one behind – because this pandemic isn’t over for anyone, until it’s over for everyone.

Follow us on Facebook and stay tuned for more upcoming stories about how COVID-19 is impacting on our local partners in humanitarian crisis zones.

Act for Peace partners with the Organisation for Eelam Refugees’ Rehabilitation (OfERR) to provide medical attention and other essential services to vulnerable women and children living as refugees in Tamil Nadu, India. Tamil Nadu is one of the states in India with the highest number of coronavirus cases. Image credit: Richard Wainwright/Act for Peace