Coronavirus – Africa: How is COVID-19 affecting the communities in which we work?

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Coronavirus is aecting us all, in the UK and around the world. But not always equally. This is how COVID-19 is aecting the people we work with

People who’ve fled conflict

Aishatu, a 38-year-old widow, shares a four-by-six metres hut with her 10 children. “I heard that I should avoid crowds,” she says. “It makes me nervous because it is very dicult to do.”

Aishatu lives in Gubio, one of the many camps for people displaced by violence in the north-east of Nigeria. The camp is currently home to 38,000 people.

How do you maintain a safe distance in a crowded camp?

Read more about the concerns of people who fled conflict only to face coronavirus.

Small business owners

“We didn’t expect this coming. I wake up every morning, having no idea how we will survive the day.”

Before the pandemic, ICRC provided financial grants to people impacted by conflict to run small businesses. Many of these businesses ground to a halt because of COVID-19.

Find out how we’re supporting people like Narjes.

Healthcare workers

“When I returned home, I found a sign on the elevator. They told me not to come back.”

The safety and protection of health care workers and infrastructure is vital during the COVID-19 pandemic.

But the sad reality is that health workers have been subject to harassment, stigmatisation and violence. Some health-care professionals and the people they were caring for have even been killed.

Read our call to protect those who are protecting us.

People affected by armed violence

COVID-19 limits our ability to carry out even life-saving humanitarian action to communities devastated by the armed violence.

In Jonglei state, South Sudan, COVID-19 means that we need to create more space between our hospital beds, which reduces the number of people in our wards by 30 per cent. When violence spiked in June, our ability to respond to medical and other humanitarian needs in the community were severely hampered.

Our hospitals were full.

Wolde-Gabriel Saugeron, who leads the team in Jonglei State, explains our concerns for people there.

People in detention

For prisoners, soap and clean water can be a luxury. Prisons are often overcrowded and can lack ventilation contributing to the easy transmission of disease.

COVID-19-related restrictions make family visits more difficult, adding stress for families and detainees at an already difficult time.

Find out what we’re doing to support detainees in the largest prison in Afghanistan.

COVID-19 has changed the way we live, perhaps for ever. But conflict hasn’t stopped, and neither have we.

Here’s how we’re adapting, changing and continuing to support those caught up in conflict.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).


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