Responding to the coronavirus challenge together

04 June 2020

Topics: Africa Asia COVID-19

Syrian children in face masks

Video: Syrian children in face masks
While civil war continues to rage in her home country, Syria, a child wears a face mask to stay protected from the novel coronavirus. Photo by Muhammed Said/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
The number of people infected by COVID-19 has now exceeded 6 million worldwide, and more than 380,000 lives have been lost.

We are all being affected by this pandemic, but not equally. 

Here in Australia, as we tentatively turn our thoughts to the future, COVID-19 continues to spread in Africa, Asia, and the near east, where it’s taking lives, destroying livelihoods, and devastating communities.

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

In India and Gaza, refugee communities are receiving health information designed to reduce transmission and to identify symptoms.
 
In Zimbabwe, our partner is reaching the general population through church networks to raise awareness of the virus, and to distribute soap and clean water.
 
In Pakistan our partner is assisting medical teams with training.
 
The world’s poorest communities need us to stand by them because they are not as equipped as we are to cope.

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Our partners are using their established programs, networks and expertise to help tackle the new and urgent challenges of COVID-19 and living in lockdown.

In the war-torn nation of Sri Lanka, our partner organisation, OfERR, helps refugees living in India to return to their home country and start rebuilding their lives again. OfERR is now using video conferencing to stay in contact with the ’welcome groups’ that support returnees from the moment they arrive home; allowing the organisation to identify the most vulnerable families and link them with urgently needed relief. 

In Jordan, the arrival of COVID-19 has made face masks unaffordable for many of the most vulnerable refugees living there. Our partner on the ground, the DSPR, has put to extra good use the sewing machines normally used in workshops to help refugee women earn an income and provide for their families. These women are now sewing face masks to help protect people from this devastating pandemic.

By working together we can support the communities who are most vulnerable to this crisis.

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Communities like those in Zimbabwe, who are facing a combination of deadly threats; including a nation-wide food shortage, a ferocious drought, a failed health care system, and an outbreak of malaria.

Before COVID-19 plunged the troubled nation into quarantine, more than 5 million people were already suffering from malnutrition. Today, over 7 million are in urgent need of humanitarian assistance.  

At the end of 2019, 135 million people around the world were living with "acute hunger". But the impact of COVID-19 is set to worsen the situation, with the World Food Program expressing concern that the number of malnourished people could rise to 265 million.

Your continued support of the most vulnerable people in the world helps to get this crisis under control faster and save lives.

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