Photograph courtesy of Catholic Relief Services: Children in Rohingya Refugee Camp. Photographer: Ismail Ferdous.
As Australia responds to the unprecedented challenges of COVID-19, Caritas Australia is urging thousands of school children, teachers, church and community leaders across Australia to support its work with vulnerable communities facing the pandemic.
The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is amplified for those who are in communities already vulnerable to poverty, disease and malnutrition. Caritas Australia works, across 23 countries and with 1.52 million people worldwide.
“You know how you feel when you see supermarkets running out of things on their shelves?” asked Caroline Preston, Caritas Australia’s Head of International Programs.
“Well, imagine how you would feel if you were running out of clean drinking water. Yet for people in the communities we work with around the world this is a daily reality.”
“In refugee camps in places such as Cox’s Bazar… the impact of this epidemic is likely to be catastrophic for communites who lack access to proper sanitary living conditions and health systems.”
How to support Caritas Australia
Here are some of the ways that Caritas Australia is responding, to protect and empower the most vulnerable against the coronavirus.
In Zimbabwe, where over half the population in rural areas have no regular access to clean water or toilets, COVID-19 activities in the participating villages include distribution of COVID-19 prevention materials, soap and buckets for handwashing purposes, installation of model handwashing facilities at clinics and awareness-raising sessions on COVID-19.
And in Bangladesh where the outbreak began in early March, communities rushed to buy hand sanitiser, handwash and other essential supplies. There Caritas is providing essential needs such as hand sanitisers and face masks and essential food supplies.
Since its emergence at the end of 2019, the COVID-19 coronavirus has swept across the world and reached pandemic proportions. Thousands have died and tens of thousands have been infected in dozens of countries.
Yet your support is saving lives at this precarious time. Through it you can stand with caregivers and frontline workers.
It’s in this spirit, that Pope Francis recently spoke of the need for solidarity with those most vulnerable at this time.
“We want to respond to the pandemic of the virus with the universality of prayer, compassion, tenderness. Let us stay united,” the Pope said.
With your support, Caritas Australia is committed to working closely with communities most vulnerable to infection and the spread of COVID-19. Please visit caritas.org.au and donate generously today.