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 countries without these facilities are struggling to respond and safeguard themselves against the destructive impacts of COVID-19.
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 poverty, minimisation 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.
There have been over 130 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 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 services, such 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.
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.
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 and contain 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:
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 disease. Our 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:
In Papua New Guinea:
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.
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