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 160 million cases of infection and nearly three million deaths worldwide. Currently, people in over 220 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 countries without these facilities are struggling to respond and to safeguard themselves against the destructive impacts of coronavirus.
For communities already living in poverty, preventing the spread of COVID-19 has been challenging, due to a shortage of masks, personal protective equipment (PPE), water, soap and hand sanitiser, which impacts on hygiene and sanitation practices.
There have been over 160 million cases of COVID-19 infection and nearly three million deaths worldwide.
Currently, people in 223 countries, areas or territories have been affected by the pandemic.
India is second to the United States in total number of infections with more than 23 million confirmed cases. The country of more than 1.3 billion people also accounts for 24% of the world’s poor.
COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions have had a significant impact on access to basic services, such as health care, education and employment. 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.
WASH-related awareness-raising activities 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 handwashing and basic hygiene is now making a world of difference to people living in the DRC.
Our existing programs and partnerships with communities around the world have helped to inform our COVID-19 responses and ensure that they are swift and effective in the communities in which we work.
In the Cox's Bazar refugee camp in Bangladesh, where over 1.3 million Rohingya people are living in poverty, the risk of the spread of COVID-19 is heightened, due to the combined threats of poor living conditions, cramped living conditions and a highly contagious, life-threatening virus.
We have been able to provide support through our local partner organisation on the ground, Caritas Bangladesh, by providing clean water, masks, PPE and raising awareness about preventing the spread of COVID-19.