Caritas Australia joins aid agencies with COVID-19 support

21 August 2020
Families from Munshigong keep together as they seek refuge in the Caritas Bangladesh cyclone shelter, attempting as much safe distancing as possible, while prioritising safety from the deadly storms. Image: Amit Rudro/CRS/Caritas Bangladesh.

 

It’s not over until it’s over for everyone

As Australia continues to feel the impacts of COVID-19, it’s a timely reminder that this pandemic is not over until it’s over for everyone. Caritas Australia has joined together with a broad collective including other international aid agencies and faith-based organisations for the #EndCOVIDForAll campaign, to pledge support for vulnerable communities around the world.

The worst impact of COVID-19 will be experienced by the communities who were already facing poor sanitation and limited access to health care. Overcrowding makes social distancing almost impossible, and puts vulnerable communities at risk, while a lack of running water, soap and face masks means containing the spread of the virus is incredibly difficult.

According to Kirsty Robertson, CEO of Caritas Australia, “The #EndCOVIDForAll campaign is asking Australians to sign a pledge to show support for communities who are vulnerable to the impacts of COVID-19. The reality is that this pandemic is not over until it’s over for everyone. So, we need to show our neighbours support”.

During widespread lockdowns, many families also struggle to put food on the table. Countless households are losing income, which pushes those who are already living at the margins further into poverty and hunger.

In fact, the COVID-19 pandemic has the potential to wipe out a decade of development gains and push an additional 70 million people around the world into extreme poverty. Beyond the impacts of COVID-19, reduced access to food could even cause an additional 1.15 million deaths among children.

“Caritas Australia will continue to support our communities during what could be their greatest challenge yet. Our borders may be closed but our hearts are not – the #EndCOVIDForAll campaign looks to ensure that our neighbours are not forgotten and they receive the support and help that they so desperately need”, Ms Roberston said.

Wednesday 19 August marked World Humanitarian Day, and the campaign is looking for as many Australians as possible to show their solidarity with vulnerable countries fighting COVID-19.

The pledge will be provided to the Australian Government to demonstrate the support that the Australian community has for Australia to do more to help our neighbours.

With 75% of people in the least developed countries lacking access to soap and clean water – the primary means of infection prevention – the challenges are immense.

But, with more vital support, Australia could expand on the incredible work already being done. With over 50 organisations involved, #EndCOVIDForAll seeks to build support for vulnerable nations.  For more information on #EndCOVIDForAll or to sign the pledge go to www.caritas.org.au/end-covid-for-all

With thanks to Caritas Australia.

 

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