Covid-19 and World Vision

World Vision and COVID-19

By Amy Johnson, Interim Government Relationship Manager, World Vision UK

I must admit, it’s quite unusual to be working with the Christians on the Left team online. We usually meet in Parliament to chat over a cup of tea about the political news of the day, and to plan how we might advocate for the world’s most vulnerable children together.

But now, I write this to you from the same dining room table which I have sat at for two weeks, with a cup of tea on my own, following the Christians on the Left Twitter feed...

No doubt you are reading this from your kitchen table, bedroom desk, living room sofa or wherever you’re working from right now, if you're in the fortunate position to still have your job. If you’re a key worker, you might be reading on the train into work, or after getting out of the car on the way back from wherever it is that you are supporting our country and our economy.

It’s a strange time for us all.

 

We’re all doing our bit to stop the spread of COVID-19, whether that’s being on the frontline, volunteering in our community, or staying home. And, wherever you are, it’s really hard.

But imagine trying to do all of that in one of the world’s poorest countries. Imagine trying to self-isolate in a refugee site, your entire family crammed into a small tent. Imagine trying to wash your hands for 20 seconds when you don’t have a sink in your house. Imagine trying to home-school your kids when you struggle to read.

Imagine the fear of being hospitalised, when your country doesn’t have a national health service.

 

This is the reality for the world’s most vulnerable children at risk of COVID-19.

In refugee and displaced communities, children and their families lack the adequate facilities and support to protect themselves from the virus. The impact on children’s caregivers, the support networks around them, and the many issues they already face due to poverty, such as malnutrition and risk of exploitation could be much greater than the world currently anticipates.

 

Children, families and communities living in the toughest and most dangerous places, desperately need our support to stop the potentially devastating effects of an outbreak.

That’s why World Vision is working to help our global neighbours respond to the crisis. We believe that children deserve the right to be safe and protected, and to fulfil their God-given potential. We want to be part of making that happen.

 

We’re scaling up our health programmes, education and relief efforts in over 15 nations.

For example, in China, World Vision plans to reach 1.3 million people. Our staff have been working tirelessly to provide vital medical gear and equipment to fight the spread of COVID-19 and keep communities and health workers safe. We’ve already provided 50,000 masks and thousands of bottles of sanitiser to schools, while over 46,000 more bottles of hand sanitiser and more than 280,000 bottles of disinfectant are ready for distribution to vulnerable families. 

 

We’re scaling up these initiatives to be there for the world’s most vulnerable children and protect them, but we all need to be a part of it.

You might be stuck at home, but don’t underestimate the impact you can have through prayer. Please pray for those living in poverty in the world’s toughest places where the impact of this disease will be devastating. Pray for the community and healthcare workers as they seek to respond. Pray for governments as they guide the country. Pray for protection from the virus for children and their communities, as well as World Vision staff providing lifesaving help.

 

And pray for the UK Government as they seek to respond to COVID-19 on a global scale. It’s great that DFID have already committed to helping the world’s most vulnerable communities throughout this pandemic, but they must keep them at the centre of the response. We must not forget them.

At World Vision we’re hopeful that together we can reduce the impact of COVID-19 in some of the world’s toughest places. Who knows where we’ll be in a few months time? I’m excited to get in touch with you later down the line to tell you some stories of the amazing transformation we’ve seen. But that will only be possible together. Now is the time to stand with the world’s most vulnerable children and communities as they face this new deadly challenge. We must not forget them. 

Amy

World Vision

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