CAFOD has joined forces with the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) to help millions of vulnerable people in the global south whose lives are at risk as the coronavirus pandemic spreads across refugee camps and countries suffering conflict.
The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) launched a Coronavirus Appeal on Tuesday to help fragile states - particularly Yemen, Syria, Somalia, South Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Afghanistan and Bangladesh. There are around 24 million internally displaced people in these states, and slum settlements are conducive to the virus spreading as it takes hold in new areas.
CAFOD Director, Christine Allen, said: "In the UK our struggle against coronavirus has entered the next phase, but in many of the world's poorest communities, the fight has only just begun. Families who have fled conflict, and are living in crowded camps or makeshift shelters, are especially vulnerable. We need your support to reach these communities and help people to cope as best they can when an outbreak of the virus strikes. In many places around the world, there are not enough hospital beds or supplies to treat everyone who falls ill. But promoting handwashing and providing personal protective equipment, health advice and food parcels can make a huge difference."
The first coronavirus case has been confirmed in north-west Syria, causing alarm for a region where camps are over-crowded, and hospitals in ruins, after nearly ten years of war.
Allen said: "working with the Disasters Emergency Committee will allow us to scale up our response and reach more people in need."
Donations to the DEC's Coronavirus Appeal will support vulnerable families by:
Providing handwashing facilities, clean water, soap, and hand sanitiser
Promoting public information messages on ways people can stay safe and protect others
Supporting health systems and aid workers by providing training, personal protective equipment, and medical supplies for frontline responders.
CAFOD is already responding to the coronavirus crisis in some of the poorest countries in the world. Since launching its emergency appeal on 30 April, it has scaled up its support to local aid workers who are providing food and improving hand-washing and sanitation facilities in countries across Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East.
It is also supporting the training of faith leaders in hygiene promotion and working with churches to use their networks to share clear and accurate information on how communities can protect themselves from coronavirus. This includes messages on Catholic radio stations and producing posters in local dialects.
The DEC brings 14 leading UK aid charities together in times of crisis, including CAFOD and Christian Aid. They raise money collectively to reach those in need quickly.
Visit CAFOD's secure donation page to support the DEC appeal here:
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