As Coronavirus, or COVID‑19, continues to spread around the world, it is now reaching the countries most vulnerable to its health and economic impact. People fleeing conflict, living in poverty or without access to healthcare face the greatest risk from this pandemic. Countries with effective health systems are in a much better position to monitor, identify, and treat those with the virus, as well as to trace exposure and prevent its spread. We are most concerned with the potential devastating effects on the world’s most vulnerable populations, including refugees and migrant populations in countries ravaged by conflict or for other reasons lack well-functioning health infrastructure.
As countries maintain varying types of lockdown and it becomes harder for international aid to reach people who most need humanitarian assistance, Mercy Corps’ teams are already on the ground. Our teams are in more than 40 countries in the Americas, Africa, Middle East and Asia, helping communities to prepare for and protect against the Coronavirus pandemic. We’re working to help many communities protect themselves against the spread of infectious disease by providing accurate information and resources for safe handwashing.
We know from our work in the West Africa Ebola epidemic in 2014-2016 and our response to the ongoing Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo, that timely, factual information about prevention is key to protecting communities, as well as access to clean water and sanitation. During the Ebola epidemic in Liberia, Mercy Corps worked with 77 national and international partner organisations, as well as 15,000 community educators, to reach more than half of the population of the country and help stop the outbreak.
As we tap into our network of experts and over 40 years of experience tackling the world’s biggest and most challenging crises, the safety of our team members and the communities with whom we work continues to be our highest priority. We are taking appropriate measures to keep our teams safe and healthy and to ensure our urgently-needed work can continue as much as possible in this quickly changing environment.
If you would like to join us on our mission, we invite you to donate to our COVID‑19 Resilience Fund. Your contribution will help provide emergency supplies, food, clean water and urgently needed support to vulnerable families and communities during this crisis and beyond.