Here in the U.S., we’ve faced coronavirus for several months, but the fight is just starting in some places, like Cox’s Bazaar in Bangladesh, the largest refugee settlement in the world where nearly 1 million people live.
Last month, Bangladesh health officials reported the first case of coronavirus in the camp, and the number is steadily growing. Social distancing is not an option. People have no choice but to crowd in unstable shelters, and their access to basic things like clean water, soap, and sufficient healthcare are limited.
The Rohingya people in Cox's Bazaar are not the only ones who find themselves in a dire situation. Millions of people around the world – in places like Yemen, Syria, and across Africa – are facing the pandemic without access to the most basic defenses against it. Add to this other forms of disaster, and many are struggling to know just how they will survive the rest of the year.
For millions across Africa, coronavirus isn't the only threat. Families are facing hunger at alarming rate.
Communities in Kenya and Uganda are witnessing the largest invasion of insects they’ve seen in 70 years. Ethiopia and Somalia have been struck, too. Unable to produce a sufficient yield, many farmers wonder how they will maintain their livelihoods and feed their families. The blight has also hit South Sudan, which has already suffered years of conflict and food shortages. With the additional problems caused by this global pandemic, these communities are even more vulnerable.
“We’re likely to see more economic insecurity, higher inflation, conflict between communities over getting access to animal feed, and a greater need for emergency food assistance,” says Ephraim Tsegay, Tearfund’s Country Director for Ethiopia.
Currently, we are working hard in the world’s most vulnerable communities:
1. Installing 200 hand-washing facilities and reach 10,000 Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh with health information, soap, masks, gloves, and food for those in quarantine
2. Ensuring that 22,000 Syrian refugees living in crowded camps in Lebanon have cleaning supplies and soap. This will reduce the spread of coronavirus and ease the strain on the healthcare system.
3. Training health workers and distribute essential food and hygiene items to 4,000 families in Kenya’s capital city, focusing on people whose immune systems are compromised by HIV.
4. Distributing emergency food supplies and hygiene kits to Venezuelan refugees in Colombia. Many in this community are no longer able to work or earn income as a result of COVID-19.
You can join us to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
$30 could provide an emergency food box to a displaced family. A gift of $60 could provide PPE to healthcare workers for the Rohingya people living in Cox’s Bazaar. Please support our work and bring hope to the world's most vulnerable communities.