Photo: Andy Abad and his partner Alexandra Benavides started their own business selling humitas after losing work due to the COVID-19 crisis, which was supported by CARE Ecuador.
The COVID-19 pandemic affects us all. However, for communities already facing extreme poverty, deadly conflict and the impact of the climate crisis, the pandemic has devastating consequences. To ensure no one gets left behind, CARE works with the most vulnerable communities, focusing on women and girls, to ensure everyone is safe and healthy. No one is safe unless everyone is safe.
In places where healthcare systems are unstable and limited, coronavirus prevention measures, such as handwashing, is lifesaving. For this reason, we provide training for health workers and strengthen our hygiene measures. CARE distributes drinking water and food that can be stored in stock, as well as medication, disinfectants and medical protective equipment.
CARE has established emergency aid plans in 75 of 100 countries of operation, and relief measures have already started in many countries. We’ve had to transform our responses, too. This isn’t just a health pandemic—it’s a global crisis on every dimension. So how are we stepping up to meet the challenge? How are we changing to better serve the people who need it most? How have we grown our COVID-19 response faster than any programming CARE has ever had—to reach nearly 12 million people?
Photo: CARE staff members from Raks Thai distributing food boxes in Thailand.
Through SMS text campaigns, CARE India reaches millions of people across the country, providing education and awareness on COVID-19 prevention. To reach students in remote Indigenous areas, CARE Cambodia is conducting radio programs. CARE Indonesia is working to provide support for 100 female garment workers who have lost their jobs due to COVID-19. Entrepreneurs who are supported by CARE Chrysalis in Sri Lanka, are involved in the COVID-19 response creating PPE equipment for frontline workers. In one of the world's largest refugee camps, Cox's Bazar in Bangladesh, CARE supplies health centres and starts large education, water and hygiene programs. For internally displaced people in Marwari, CARE Philippines is providing psychosocial support together with the distribution of relief goods.
In Burundi, CARE is working with VSLA women’s groups and Youth groups to disseminate information about COVID-19 prevention. Through Facebook, CARE is disseminating health care and protection messages in three languages to reach audiences in Ethiopia. In Rwanda and Somalia, CARE is using TV and radio campaigns to raise COVID-19 prevention awareness. To protect refugees at risk, CARE has set up quarantine facilities for three refugee camps in Kenya and is still responding in Dadaab camp. CARE Malawi is working with the government to adapt CARE's approach to Rapid Gender Analysis to respond to the specific needs of women and girls in the country. During food distribution in Zimbabwe, CARE has managed to set up hand washing facilities in the form of Tippy-Taps and screening is being done by Health Staff. In South Sudan, CARE is part of the government's COVID-19 task force, advising and supporting the establishment of life-saving preventive measures.
Photo: CARE's VSLA group in Niger work together to produce peanut oil but COVID-19 has had major economic impact. Ollivier Girard/CARE.
In Burkina Faso, CARE is conducting trainings for community-based health works, distributing PPE equipment and hygiene kits to vulnerable communities. In Nigeria, CARE’s VSLA groups innovate improvised makeshift handwashing stations using empty bottles which they filled with water and soap which was attached/hung to a wooden stand/frame. CARE’s radio programme in Ghana that was targeted towards farmers, is now being used for COVID-19 information dissemination in two local languages. In Sierra Leone, CARE supports the national and district level health authorities in conducting a comprehensive and effective response to COVID-19.
Photo: CARE Honduras' Covid-19 emergency distribution to families living in poverty in the municipality of Villanueva, Honduras. DANIEL ROMANA/CARE
In Peru, CARE distributes hot meals to the population, as well as to Venezuelan refugees, so that they are cared for during the quarantine period. The LGTBQ population is also supported as it belongs to one of the most vulnerable groups in the country. In Haiti, additional meal vouchers are distributed to poorer households that are self-isolating. CARE Ecuador is providing virtual psychosocial support and accompaniment to households affected by COVID-19. CARE Colombia works together with local partners to support Venezuelan refugees and migrants, facing issues of violence, hunger and homelessness.
Photo: Cholera and COVID 19 prevention and safe hygiene promotion awareness in Taiz, Yemen. Sarah Alabsie/CARE
In Syria, CARE maintains a hospital and numerous outpatient clinics, and helps with protective, disinfection and medical materials and supports refugees. In the Palestinian Territories, CARE improves the basic care of health centres, including protective clothing, and trains medical personnel. In densely populated areas such as refugee camps, CARE is working to build additional accommodation so that quarantine and distance regulations can be observed. It is also important here that access to clean water and handwashing stations is established. CARE Egypt is playing the coordination role in a GBV Committee established by the National Council for Women.