COVID-19 coronavirus: how CARE is helping
The people most at risk
The world’s poorest countries are least equipped to protect people from the global COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. Many of the countries where CARE works — such as those in South East Asia, the Pacific Islands and sub-Saharan Africa — have under-funded health systems and a shortage of doctors and nurses.
Soap and hand sanitizer can be hard for average people to come by, even at the best of times. People who don’t have enough to eat have low immunity, putting them at much greater risk of infection.
Similarly, there’s a real risk COVID-19 could spread in refugee camps where people are already living in close quarters without the means to practice good hygiene. Syrian and Rohingya people, for example, have already endured so much without this added threat to their lives.
What is CARE doing?
Promoting good hygiene and good health has been a core part of CARE’s work for 75 years. We train health workers, provide soap and other hygiene supplies, construct taps and clean toilets, and teach vulnerable people the best ways to protect themselves from disease. These are the kind of measures that will be crucial to stopping the virus in its tracks.
We’re also rapidly investigating and rolling out specific responses to COVID-19 in the world’s most vulnerable communities. This includes looking at how we can help our closest neighbours in countries like Papua New Guinea, Timor Leste and Vanuatu.
We have already reached more than 9 million people with hygiene messages, and helped more than 1.6 million people access clean water. We’re also helping people get better information—with more than 5.3 million getting direct training, and 134 million accessing information about COVID-19 through mass media that CARE is supporting.
Women, girls and other marginalised people
In times of crisis, women, girls and other marginalised people are often impacted the worst. We’ve seen this in past health emergencies, like the Ebola outbreaks in Africa.
Around the world, 70% of health workers are women, putting them at greater risk of infection. In the home, it’s often women and girls who take on caring responsibilities when someone gets sick, at the expense of their jobs or education.
And when health services are overwhelmed, women are forced to go without reproductive or maternal health care, leading to unplanned pregnancies and unsafe deliveries.
CARE puts women and girls at the centre of our emergency response to ensure their voices are heard and their needs are met.
In it for the long haul
COVID-19 coronavirus is going to have long-lasting economic and social effects for the whole world. People without savings, a secure income and secure housing will be most affected by the long-term effects of this crisis.
CARE works in the world’s poorest communities with people who were already living day-to-day, even before coronavirus hit. They will need financial, social and psychological support for many years to come.
At the same time, it’s important that we continue saving lives and fighting for people’s rights all around the globe. Syrian refugees have not stopped needing our help. Climate change has not been put on hold. And women and girls are no safer from violence and discrimination. If anything, there’s a risk this latest global challenge will draw much-needed funds away from these pressing issues.
Your support is more important now than ever.
Please make a donation to help those most in need.
More on our response
- Where Are the Women? The Conspicuous Absence of Women in COVID-19 Response Teams and Plans, and Why We Need Them
- CARE Rapid Gender Analysis COVID-19 in the Pacific region
- CARE Rapid Gender Analysis COVID-19 in Vanuatu
- CARE Rapid Gender Analysis COVID-19 in Australia
- “We worry a lot about this disease” – an interview with a health worker on the front-line in Sierra Leone