As the world focuses on preventing the spread of COVID-19, Islamic Relief is providing health and hygiene support to vulnerable people around the world – and appealing to donors to assist this vital work.
According to the latest figures, there are now over 426,000 confirmed cases of Coronavirus in around 190 countries and territories. Most recently, the virus has reached Gaza and Syria, sparking fears that the disease could spread unchecked, particularly in crowded camps sheltering those forced from their homes.
This number is likely to increase over the coming weeks and months as the global pandemic reaches people in every part of the world.
Our health and hygiene work saves lives
Islamic Relief works in 35 countries. Our staff on the ground in many of these countries are gearing up to provide lifesaving medical care and boost preventative action to minimise the risk of disease. As COVID-19 impacts more communities around the world, our teams will be running health clinics, providing hygiene kits and access to sanitation.
We are also raising awareness of good hygiene practices like washing hands, training communities in healthcare and working with local government to provide medical and hygiene support where healthcare capacity is low.
Delivering aid will be increasingly challenging
“We are concerned about our staff being able to deliver programmes safely and having to limit our life-saving work if things get really bad,” says Simona French, Head of External Relations. “But as we work in some of the world’s most difficult regions, such as Yemen and Syria, we are well versed in adapting our operations to protect those most in need as new challenges develop.
“Above all, we are concerned about the ability of fragile health systems that will not be able to cope with a large influx of people and do not have adequate containment procedures. Many vulnerable people are susceptible to sickness with this virus, and that will include our own aid workers as they work to support their communities.”
A global response to a public health emergency
In Canada, Islamic Relief is providing free hygiene kits to vulnerable communities and financial assistance to families living below the poverty line. Each hygiene kit includes cleansing wipes, liquid soap, detergent, tissues, shampoo, conditioner, lotion, sanitary pads, toothbrushes, toothpaste, baby wipes and other essential hygiene items.
In the USA, our teams are providing hygiene kits and also supporting the call for paid sick leave, unemployment insurance and the expansion of food security programmes for vulnerable families. As the government debates the changes needed to help communities through this public health emergency, our teams are also preparing to support families with food parcels during Ramadan – as are Islamic Relief teams in dozens of countries around the world.
Good hygiene saves lives
Islamic Relief is encouraging all local communities to take extra care during this period and follow their governments’ official medical advice. This includes:
- Washing hands regularly and thoroughly with soap
- Avoiding touching one’s face
- Covering one’s mouth and nose with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing
- Putting used tissues in the bin and washing hands immediately
- Avoiding close contact with people who are unwell.
“And whoever saves one life it would be as if he saved all of mankind,” (Qur’an, 5:32).
Donate to our coronavirus appeal
There are millions of vulnerable people around the world who face economic barriers to healthcare or live in areas with inadequate medical facilities. The risk of serious illness or death from disease is even higher for them.
Your donation will help save lives.
- $35 can provide an essential hygiene kit to a family
- $65 can provide food and water for a family in quarantine
- $125 can provide disinfectant and sterilisation material to protect communities from Coronavirus.
Hygiene kits vary by country according to local needs and availability. They include essential supplies such as soap, hand sanitiser, face masks, nappies, and disinfectant.
Islamic Relief is continuing to provide support to vulnerable people all over the world and in the coming days, weeks and months will be doing all we can to limit the impact of coronavirus through our health and hygiene programmes.