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Global response rapidly needed to assist world’s poorest countries to battle COVID-19

Concern teams are distributing COVID19 leaflets in Bangladesh. Photo: Md. Mohidul Hasan/ Concern Worldwide
Concern teams are distributing COVID19 leaflets in Bangladesh. Photo: Md. Mohidul Hasan/ Concern Worldwide

Humanitarian aid organisation Concern Worldwide today called on the international community to urgently assist the world’s poorest countries as they tackle the Covid-19 pandemic.

The overseas development agency is urging all international donors and governments to immediately join a concerted global effort to minimise the virus’s impact in already vulnerable humanitarian contexts and the world’s poorest countries.

Concern Worldwide UK’s Executive Director Danny Harvey said:

“The healthcare services in the world’s poorest communities are weak, overstretched and in some cases non-existent. Reducing the transmission of the virus can be achieved through measures like promoting good hygiene, providing soap, handwashing facilities and access to water; but swift action is needed.

”In the face of a global humanitarian crisis, it’s paramount that we continue to provide humanitarian aid in places prone to conflict or political instability, and that we act now to try and reduce the transmission of Covid-19.”

The charity is calling on the international community to rally behind international aid organisations and take action, to not only contain the virus in these countries, but to address the long-term impact of restrictions.

As in the UK, the COVID-19 pandemic is not just a health crisis; restrictions and lockdown measures to promote social distancing will have a profound effect on the poorest people’s livelihoods. It is essential to put in place measures to ensure people continue to have access to food and cash to secure basic necessities.

Danny Harvey, Executive Director

Key recommendations

Concern’s recommendations are:

  • A concerted global effort is needed to minimise the impact of Covid-19 in already vulnerable humanitarian contexts
  • All donors and partners must maintain ongoing support to programmes for the most vulnerable
  • Life-saving humanitarian activities such as the distribution of food and cash must be considered essential services and be exempt from restriction or impediment by authorities
  • Donors must work with the humanitarian community, as well as with national governments to ensure responders have as much access as possible to vulnerable communities
  • Governments and private sectors, especially social media platforms and technology companies must put profit and politics aside to ensure factual, clear and unambiguous Covid-19 information is shared
  • International cooperation, investment and accountability must be strengthened
  • All countries must unite behind the UN Secretary General to secure an immediate global ceasefire. Covid-19 responses should be cognisant of existing conflict dynamics and ensure that responses target people in greatest need, following the principle of impartiality


A copy of Concern’s advocacy position paper can be read here.



For media queries contact Hannah Myerson, Senior Communications Officer at [email protected] or Darren Vaughan, Senior Communications Officer at [email protected]

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