Whether people are living in an overcrowded refugee camp fleeing war and cannot access food, or living in a country hit by drought that affects their ability to grow crops, over 50 years of experience has made one thing clear: people’s immediate and long-term needs have to be at the heart of our programmes. This approach not only saves lives immediately but also builds their resilience to future emergencies.
At Concern we have launched a Coronavirus Emergency Appeal while adapting our programmes to ensure life-saving work can continue. For instance, our teams have distributed soap, detergent, and hygiene kits to 84,000 displaced people in camps in northern Iraq; improved basic water systems and drilled wells in the Central African Republic, and intensified public information ‘wash your hands’ campaigns of Covid-19 in Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Malawi.
We are also giving parents longer supplies of therapeutic foods so that they do not have to visit health centres as frequently. Where we anticipate supply chain problems, we are pre-positioning stocks of essential supplies.