i
Halima (left) leading a Covid-19 related health and hygiene session with children in her Rohingya refugee camp in Cox’s Bazaar region of Bangladesh in August 2020. Photo credit: Inmanuel Chayan Biswas/Caritas Bangladesh.

COVID-19

In the history of our civilisation, only a few events have managed to cause as much global disruption as COVID-19. Since the first recorded case in December 2019, there have been over 130 million cases of infection and nearly three million deaths worldwide. Currently, people in 223 countries, areas or territories have been affected by the pandemic. 

Despite the rapid spread of this virus, some countries have been able to manage better than others during the pandemic, based on the availability of affordable health care and sanitation. However, low-income countriewithout these facilities are struggling to respond and safeguard themselves against the destructive impacts of COVID-19. 

During the COVID-19 crisis, Laz Harfa - our local partner in Indonesia - helped remote communities through awareness-raising posters, information boards and installing handwashing facilities in public places. They also helped set up a public rice barn where those who could afford to donate rice gave to people who had lost their jobs. Photo credit: Richard Wainwright/Caritas Australia.
i
During the COVID-19 crisis, Laz Harfa - our local partner in Indonesia - helped remote communities through awareness-raising posters, information boards and installing handwashing facilities in public places. They also helped set up a public rice barn where those who could afford to donate rice gave to people who had lost their jobs. Photo credit: Richard Wainwright/Caritas Australia.

Vulnerable communities face new challenges 

COVID-19 has undeniably changed the way we all live our lives but for those in vulnerable and marginalised communities, the effects have been catastrophic. 

For communities struggling with povertyminimisation and prevention strategies have been difficult to implement due to a short supply of masks, sanitiser and personal protective equipment (PPE) as well as little to no access to clean water, hygiene products and sanitation. 

130 million

There have been over 130 million cases of COVID-19 infection and nearly three million deaths worldwide.

223 countries

Currently, people in 223 countries, areas or territories have been affected by the pandemic.

11 million in India

India is second to the United States in total number of infections with more than 11 million confirmed cases. The country of more than 1.3 billion people also accounts for 24% of the world’s poor.

The importance of WASH during COVID 

Development in low-income countries has come to a grinding halt because of COVID-19 restrictions. Essential servicessuch as health care, education, and socio-economic development have been severely interrupted, causing an entire generation to lose valuable time for learning, development, and so much more.  

Our work in the areas of water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) have been vital to our COVID response in the vulnerable communities we support.  

Halima (right) showing her children how to use a hand washing station in her Rohingya refugee camp in Cox’s Bazaar region of Bangladesh in August 2020. Photo credit: Inmanuel Chayan Biswas/Caritas Bangladesh.
i
Halima (right) showing her children how to use a hand washing station in her Rohingya refugee camp in Cox’s Bazaar region of Bangladesh in August 2020. Photo credit: Inmanuel Chayan Biswas/Caritas Bangladesh.

For instance, the WASH-related awareness-building activities and sanitation facilities we delivered in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) during the Ebola outbreak of 2018 are helping these communities to control and contain the virus. Something as simple as understanding the importance of hand-washing and basic hygiene is now making a world of difference to people living in the DRC. 

Caritas Bangladesh staff and Rohingya WASH volunteers  in their Rohingya refugee camp in Cox’s Bazaar region of Bangladesh in August 2020. Photo credit: Inmanuel Chayan Biswas/Caritas Bangladesh.
i
Caritas Bangladesh staff and Rohingya WASH volunteers in their Rohingya refugee camp in Cox’s Bazaar region of Bangladesh in August 2020. Photo credit: Inmanuel Chayan Biswas/Caritas Bangladesh.

We’re giving people a fighting chance against COVID 

Our existing programs and partnerships with communities around the world have helped inform our COVID-19 responses and ensure that they are swift and effective in the communities we work in. We have been working tirelessly to provide vulnerable families with the resources they most need to survive ancontain the effects of the virus. 

In Bangladesh, the risk of COVID-19 is heightened due the abundance of people living in poverty. Moreover, 1.3 million Rohingya refugees are facing an unprecedented humanitarian crisis with the combined threats of poor living conditions and a highly contagious, life-threatening virus.  

Through our programs, we’ve been able to provide: 

  • 354 community awareness training sessions on COVID-19 hygiene and preparation 
  • Shelter for 131 of the most vulnerable families 
  • Household toilets for 105 disaster-affected families 
  • Emergency cash support to 4,173 COVID-19 affected families 

In India, our national office’s work in response to the pandemic has been recognised due to its effectiveness in helping curb the spread of the diseaseOur Community Led Development & Governance program, implemented by Caritas Australia and Caritas India, began before COVID-19 broke out, but has proved to be a valuable source of support as locals face the increased challenges brought on by the pandemic.

In India, we’ve helped: 

  • 23,295 vulnerable people from 4,353 families received sanitation items, like soap and masks. 
  • distribute food kits to families during lockdown and periods of unemployment. 
  • 50,000 people improve their knowledge of handwashing, physical distancing, and proper mask use via an awareness campaign and door-to-door visits. 
Photo credit: Richard Wainwright/Caritas Australia.
i
Photo credit: Richard Wainwright/Caritas Australia.

In Papua New Guinea: 

  • 234 teachers and health workers from 6 at-risk provinces received training in COVID-19 awareness, ensuring approximately 15,000 students and community members receive vital preventative health information. 
  • 18,300 educational posters and fact sheets on the use of PPE and personal hygiene were distributed to all 19 provinces, reaching 3,000 urban and rural schools.  
  • 1,000 hygiene kits were distributed to vulnerable children, including those in orphanages, settlements and the West Papua refugee camp. 
  • 402,000 items of PPE equipment were distributed to 19 provinces, benefiting 235 health facilities and an estimated 1,462 health workers. 

Your support is helping the world heal from COVID-19

Your donations are enabling us to reach the most remote and marginalised communities and provide the support that they desperately need during these testing times.

DONATE NOW

 

Want to do more? Join us and our fight to end COVID for all and help the world’s most vulnerable survive the pandemic and begin to rebuild their lives. Sign up for our mailing list to find out more.

 

Error loading Partial View script (file: ~/Views/MacroPartials/InsertUmbracoFormWithTheme.cshtml)