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Novel Coronavirus Relief Efforts (Global)

handwashing

Your support can keep vulnerable communities safe from covid-19! 

 

 

 

 

 

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The coronavirus pandemic is affecting everyone globally. With our experience in combating infectious disease like Zika and Ebola, and with our expertise in water, sanitation and hygiene, Oxfam is working around the clock with local partners in over 60 countries and regions to protect the poorest and most vulnerable from the coronavirus and its impacts.

As of 31 May 2020, we have reached over 4 million people. To learn more about our global response, read the Oxfam Coronavirus Response Interim Report.

The global situation

In developing countries, obtaining prevention and health information can be a challenge due to low literacy rates and the lack of access to information. Poverty also affects people's ability to protect themselves against outbreaks. In poorer countries, the lack of protective equipment, weak public health systems, and even a lack of handwashing facilities place the poor at greater risk. Pandemics like COVID-19 can also spread like wildfire in slums and refugee camps, and devastate populations already facing multiple threats to their health and livelihoods.

At least half the world’s population (around 3.8 billion people) don’t have access to essential healthcare

Over 45% of countries have less than 1 physician per 1,000 people   

Around 3 billionpeople lack basic handwashing facilities

Over 70 millionpeople are forcibly displaced and many of them live in unhygienic conditions

70%of world’s health workersare women who are at high risk of infection

Oxfam’s Immediate Global Response

Since the 1960s, Oxfam has forged the way in water and sanitation provision, as well as hygiene education and promotion. To stop the spread of the coronavirus, we have sped up the delivery of our services with local partners, ministries of health and key UN agencies in different countries and regions, including Bangladesh and India, to protect the poorest and most vulnerable from the coronavirus and its impacts.

India

India is the second most populous country in the world that, like many others, sees stark wealth inequality. High living costs have left many low-income migrant workers with no choice but to live in slums. The unexpected outbreak of the coronavirus has also left labourers in many industries – including manufacturing, catering, retail and tourism – jobless. Apart from a major drop in income, they are now placed at greater risk of catching COVID-19 as many live in cramped shelters where sanitation may be a challenge.

In order to stop the spread of virus, Oxfam is working to:

  • Help prevent the spread of COVID-19 among the general population through enhanced knowledge and skill of the community in adopting the prescribed protection measures
  • Install portable handwashing stations and distribute safety kits to frontline health workers at hospitals, caregivers and community members; these kits contain protective gear/personal protective equipment to help prevent the spread of infection
  • Urge the government to strengthen public healthcare system immediately by allocating more funds to it
High rents in India have forced poor people into crowded and cramped living spaces where they share communal toilets and water facilities, leaving them at greater risk of contracting COVID-19. Physical distancing is advocated to prevent the spread of coronavirus, but most of them live with several family members in one-room homes making them vulnerable to infection. (Photo: Atul Loke, Panos / Oxfam)
 
High rents in India have forced poor people into crowded and cramped living spaces where they share communal toilets and water facilities, leaving them at greater risk of contracting COVID-19. Physical distancing is advocated to prevent the spread of coronavirus, but most of them live with several family members in one-room homes making them vulnerable to infection. (Photo: Atul Loke, Panos / Oxfam)
India ranks 145th among 195 countries in terms of quality of and accessibility to healthcare. And in the current context, it is the poorest who are least likely to be able to access this healthcare and treatment. We at Oxfam are urging the government to strengthen the public healthcare system immediately by allocating more funds to it. (Photo: Oxfam)
 
India ranks 145th among 195 countries in terms of quality of and accessibility to healthcare. And in the current context, it is the poorest who are least likely to be able to access this healthcare and treatment. We at Oxfam are urging the government to strengthen the public healthcare system immediately by allocating more funds to it. (Photo: Oxfam)
In Southeast and South Asian countries, there are many low-wage, migrant workers. The suspension of work, however, has affected them greatly. Oxfam is urging governments in these countries to provide immediate economic assistance to low-wage workers to ensure that no one is left behind. (Photo: Sam Tarling / Oxfam)
 
In Southeast and South Asian countries, there are many low-wage, migrant workers. The suspension of work, however, has affected them greatly. Oxfam is urging governments in these countries to provide immediate economic assistance to low-wage workers to ensure that no one is left behind. (Photo: Sam Tarling / Oxfam)

Bangladesh

Oxfam Senior Public Health Promotion Officer, a report from Cox Bazar Bangladesh

 

Apart from impoverished communities in urban areas, refugee camps are also at high risk. In fact, the first case of COVID-19 was confirmed in Cox’s Bazaar, Bangladesh, in mid-May. Close to 1 million Rohingya refugees live in makeshift camps there – one of the largest refugee camps in the world. Oxfam has been scaling up preventive measures to reach 70,000 refugees and ensure their safety. We: 

  • Have installed new handwashing stations in the camps, and stepped up soap and detergent distributions
  • Are providing training for community leaders on COVID-19 and holding community information sessions on prevention measures
In the Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh, there is a large risk of a devastating spread of COVID-19 in the cramped, sprawling sites. While monsoon season is approaching, rains and storms may cause major damage to the camps, further displacements, and cut of access to large parts of the camps. This could also lead to deteriorating hygiene conditions, which would put people at greater risk of infection. (Photo: Ko Chung Ming / Oxfam)
 
In Bangladesh’s Rohingya refugee camps, there is a large risk of a devastating spread of COVID-19 in the cramped, sprawling sites. Rain and storms from monsoon season can also cause major damage to the camps, further displacement and even cut off access to parts of the camps. This could also lead to deteriorating hygiene conditions, which would put people at greater risk of infection. (Photo: Ko Chung Ming / Oxfam)
Our staff will continue to work with refugee volunteers in the camps to distribute soap and promote hygiene in the community. (Photo: Tommy Trenchard / Oxfam)
 
Our staff are continuing to work with refugee volunteers in the camps to distribute soap and promote hygiene in the community. (Photo: Tommy Trenchard / Oxfam)
Oxfam opened the largest, ecological waste treatment plant ever built in a refugee camp last year, which is able to process the waste of 150,000 people per day. We will continue to make sure that the system functions properly to avoid overflowing latrines and water contamination. (Photo: Salahuddin Ahmed / Oxfam)
 
Oxfam opened the largest, ecological waste treatment plant ever built in a refugee camp last year, which is able to process the waste of 150,000 people per day. We will continue to make sure that the system functions properly to avoid overflowing latrines and water contamination. (Photo: Salahuddin Ahmed / Oxfam)

 

What's in a hygiene kit?

 

Advocacy: Demand Action from the International Community to Support Developing Countries

The pandemic has not only been putting an unbearable burden on public health systems around the world, but could also be pushing hundreds of millions of people into poverty. Oxfam is calling on governments to support developing countries with economic rescue plan and keep poor and vulnerable communities safe and afloat. (Learn more)

 

Your support can keep vulnerable communities safe from covid-19! 

 

 

 

 

 

    donate now

 

learn more about Oxfam's response to Covid-19