Through our Coronavirus Appeal, world health workers are receiving personal protective equipment, families without a livelihood due to lockdown have nutritious food, and communities are getting the help they need to better protect themselves from the deadly virus.
Thanks to your generous support, Islamic Relief is responding to the coronavirus pandemic in every country in which we work – including in some of the planet’s most fragile contexts and vulnerable communities.
Tackling the spread of coronavirus in Asia
In Afghanistan, we’re working closely with the government’s department of public health to support the health system in Herat, on the border with Iran. We’re giving health workers personal protective equipment (PPE) and hygiene kits, and are supporting referrals for serious cases. Islamic Relief has given the Ministry of Health medical supplies, including N-95 masks, worth about $1 million.
We are using the radio and leaflets to tell communities what they need to know about the virus and how to avoid infection. And as coronavirus has spread to the majority of Afghan provinces, we’re also continuing and adapting our vital livelihoods, education and protection programmes throughout the country.
Our team in Pakistan, a country with over 11,100 confirmed COVD-19 cases, are also working with the government to get PPE – including N-95 masks, protective uniforms, face shields and goggles – to medical staff and paramedics.
And the families we help, especially those supported by our orphan sponsorship programme, are receiving ongoing advice and information by phone and Whatsapp, which is helping counter dangerous fake news.
Meanwhile in Bangladesh, where COVID-19 has killed over 120 people, we will give essential food items and hygiene kits to 5,500 households without an income due to the lockdown. Islamic Relief will also ensure the most vulnerable forcibly displaced Myanmar nationals in Cox’s Bazaar receive the support they desperately need. Food will be distributed to 9,000 household through our implementing partners.
Protecting communities in the Middle East
Coronavirus has reached Gaza, sparking fears of catastrophic consequences should the virus spread widely. We’re helping families who have seen their livelihoods impacted by the current lockdown within the city by providing them with food packs and hygiene kits. Furthermore, Islamic Relief is also supporting people within quarantine centres by providing them with hygiene kits as well as promoting hygiene messages throughout our programming. We’re also planning to help stop the spread of the virus by disinfecting public spaces such as hospitals and schools.
More than one in two Gazans already live below the poverty line, so suffering is predicted to deepen as coronavirus strains what remains of Gaza’s economy. Islamic Relief will provide a lifeline by increasing access to food in the enclave.
So far there has been only one confirmed case in Yemen, but an outbreak could quickly overwhelm a health system that years of conflict has pushed close to collapse. Islamic Relief supports over 150 health facilities in the country, and runs large scale food security projects with the World Food Programme (WFP).
Our hygiene supplies and meals have reached over 600 people in Yemen’s coronavirus quarantine centres, and we’re using all of our distribution sites to boost hygiene awareness. We’re also helping the health sector prepare for a coronavirus outbreak by giving health facilities and isolation centres medicine, medical equipment, training, and incentives for health workers.
Confirmed cases of the deadly virus are yet to be reported in northwest Syria, but with escalating conflict in the region already having forced dozens of health facilities to close, millions are at risk in overcrowded camps and towns. One of the few international humanitarian organisations still operating in northwest Syria, Islamic Relief has equipped health facilities with items such as gloves, masks, and sterilising wipes.
We will also sterilise public spaces, distribute hygiene kits and food parcels to vulnerable Syrian families, and raise awareness of practices to improve hygiene and prevent the spread of infection.
Lifesaving PPE and hygiene support in east Africa
Islamic Relief is working closely with national and local authorities in Kenya in responding to the outbreak, which has so far claimed over a dozen lives. We’re providing PPE and COVID-19 testing kits, while our cash transfers are helping over 300 of the most vulnerable households to improve their livelihoods.
Coronavirus gained a foothold in Somalia last month and we’re planning to use our existing health facilities to reach thousands of people. Aiming to help stop the spread by providing water for public handwashing washing facilities, we will also work with faith leaders and communities to communicate preventative measures using radio, television, and text messages.
We’re also taking to the airwaves in South Sudan, one of the world’s most insecure countries, where many communities struggle to access food and basic services. Health facilities will also receive PPE including gloves and gowns as well as infrared thermometers for screening. Carefully observing social distancing, we will give hygiene items such as hand sanitiser and soap.
Hygiene kits and safe practices in west Africa
Over 300 coronavirus cases have been confirmed in Mali, a country in the grip of a devastating but largely overlooked humanitarian crisis. Our response begins in the capital city, as we give out hygiene kits and promote good hygiene practices including through faith leaders. With coronavirus likely to fuel an increase conflict and displacement in the country, we are looking to also expand our programmes to meet urgent humanitarian needs.
We’re also responding to the health crisis in neighbouring Niger, one of the poorest countries in the world. Working in hard-to-reach rural villages and Bamako, we’re promoting good hygiene, water and sanitation practices and equipping health centres with hygiene items. And we will provide food and hygiene items to older people with disabilities or chronic illnesses who are now confined to their homes.
In addition we will integrate COVID-19 into Eid programming, through which 1,600 orphan families will receive a hygiene kit and cash transfers to purchase new clothing for Eid.
Malawi is also highly vulnerable to COVID-19, with 33 confirmed cases so far. Islamic Relief’s response will include working with communities to boost their preparedness and knowledge of key public health information, supporting referral mechanisms, and distributing hygiene kits.
Donate to our Coronavirus Appeal now, and help us save lives.