Did you know that access to clean and safe water is still denied to millions of people in many countries across the world?
Join us on Thursday 18th March at 6pm to hear from Nikki Evans, CAFOD Programme Officer for Bolivia who will share her work with communities in Bolivia to monitor water quality and prevent contaminants getting into the food chain.
Join us for an online talk on Tuesday 23rd March at 11am with Yasmin Kayali from CAFOD partner Basmeh & Zeitooneh, who will be giving us an update on the Syrian crisis and how CAFOD have been responding over the years. Yasmin will be sharing her own experiences of the crisis through her work with Basmeh & Zeitooneh, who support those most affected by the Syrian crisis in Lebanon.
The Coronavirus pandemic has severely impacted communities worldwide, especially those who are living in refugee camps.
The camps in Bangladesh are becoming an even more dangerous home for the many refugees who live there, and the prevention measures we have become used to in the UK will be almost impossible to practice.
Refugee families rely on help for basic daily living supplies, including clean water, soap, and washing powder, so regular handwashing and washing clothes is a challenge. The camps are very overcrowded, and shelters are makeshift, making social distancing advice impractical.
Limited food and healthcare mean also mean that some people are already unwell and will need extra help to survive the virus.
What is CAFOD doing to help Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh?
Our local experts have been providing practical help in Cox’s Bazar since the camp was set up in 2017. We are continuing to work around the clock to ensure that the most vulnerable refugees in makeshift camps receive the aid they need. So far, we have reached more than 360,000 Rohingya refugees with lifesaving help. We have been able to:-
Provide food, kitchen supplies and blankets to over 89,000 vulnerable families
Install 300 solar streetlights, meaning women, children and the elderly can use water and toilet facilities at night
Rebuild temporary homes for 40,000 families, meaning they have somewhere to safer to shelter together
We have been able to do this because of the generous support you have given us.
This week, thanks to the generosity of the UK public, the Disaster Emergency Committee – of which CAFOD is a member – Coronavirus Appeal has raised an incredible £10 million to help those living in the most fragile states.
The DEC Coronavirus Appeal will help the most vulnerable people in six of the world’s most fragile states: Yemen and Syria; Somalia, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
In Syria, our local partners on the ground are reporting urgent concerns about the risks of the virus spreading, as vulnerable people are unable to take the basic measures to protect themselves. Mustafa, 28, a frontline worker supported by CAFOD, lives in a camp outside Idlib with displaced people.He explained how they are preparing for what he calls ‘an explosion of coronavirus’ in the camps. He said:
“My heart is beating so hard; we are expecting an explosion of coronavirus in the camps. The coming days are really critical for us.Doctors are preparing for the spread of the virus. People live in large overcrowded settlements in tents with maybe 12 people and no access to clean water. It will be a catastrophe. Disaster. Please help them.”
Of the 111 public hospitals in Syria, only 57 public hospitals (64%) are fully functioning. There is a considerable shortage of trained staff and a high turnover rate, reducing capacity to manage cases. Up to 70% of health workers have already left the country.Despite the many challenges presented by the pandemic, CAFOD, many of the DEC’s 14 member charities, are already present and working in refugee and displacement camps.Through our local experts, we are focusing on essential humanitarian services while ensuring the health and safety of staff, volunteers and communities are prioritised.
Our local experts are giving emergency support and essential hygiene kits and continuing to homeless families who are within Syria itself but also in Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Turkey.