The COVID-19 pandemic: Coronavirus affects us all
School closures, stay-at-home orders, and lockdowns: over the past months COVID-19 has changed our lives dramatically. People around the world are still getting infected with the novel coronavirus disease (SARS-CoV-2) every day. Experts are urging people to follow social distancing and strict hygiene measures in order to contain infections as well as possible.
COVID-19 is particularly devastating for those countries that have insufficient health systems.
COVID-19 continues to pose an enormous threat to the countries we work in. For example, a bigger outbreak in one of northern Syria's crowded refugee camps would have devastating consequences. As a result of the civil war, there is no functional healthcare system. The sanitary facilities, so important to containing the spread of the virus, are totally inadequate.
Coronavirus vaccinations in the Global South
Coronavirus vaccinations have started in many countries since December 2020. In India, for example, more than 230 million vaccine doses have already been administered. Many African countries, on the other hand, are still far from beginning their vaccination programme because they cannot afford the expensive vaccine. While at least 30 percent of Europeans have already received their first vaccination, only two percent of the population in Africa has been vaccinated for the first time (source: WHO).
The WHO denounces this unequal rollout and warns of a "moral failure" if vaccines are not available for countries in the Global South. Welthungerhilfe supports the WHO's assessment and fears that this inequality will jeopardise development achievements of recent decades.
In the face of the global pandemic, it is now a matter of speed and solidarity instead of ‘vaccine nationalism’. If we don't act quickly now, the pandemic will drag on for years and cost us astronomical sums.Mathias Mogge Secretary General of Welthungerhilfe
From coronavirus to hunger crisis
The coronavirus crisis is also creating other problems in Syria: “Jobs have been lost due to the pandemic, supply chains have broken down and the Syrian pound has recently lost so much value that many people can no longer even afford bread,” reports Halil Kurt, Programme Coordinator for Welthungerhilfe in Syria and Turkey.
Many people can no longer even afford bread.Halil Kurt Programme Coordinator for Welthungerhilfe in Syria
The pandemic has also had devastating economic consequences in many African countries, especially for poverty-stricken communities. As a result of the lockdown measures, many people have lost their source of income, while at the same time food prices are rising sharply. The number of hungry people worldwide threatens to reach one billion. In addition, existing crises and conflicts could intensify.
In Kenya we are beginning to hear many people express sentiments like: ‘We probably won't die from coronavirus, but we might starve to death.’Kelvin Shingles Country Coordinator for Welthungerhilfe in Kenya
“The coronavirus pandemic is amplifying already existing crises. As a result, the number of hungry people could rise to one billion, partly due to climate change and global conflicts,” says Mathias Mogge, Secretary General of Welthungerhilfe. In order to support the most vulnerable people in the world, whose suffering has been exacerbated by the coronavirus crisis, Welthungerhilfe is implementing a wide range of measures tailored to specific local conditions.
+++ We support 5 million people in 35 countries +++
With a global COVID-19 programme, we and our partners are supporting five million people in 35 countries. We provide hygiene facilities and food and support people in the long term to resume their economic activities and be better equipped to withstand crises in the future. This includes investments in agriculture, water and sanitation, and support for local markets and value chains.
Provide immediate assistance to those most vulnerable during the coronavirus crisis.
All measures are adapted with our partner organisations on-site to the specific needs of local populations. Welthungerhilfe's work related to COVID-19 is being carried out in close coordination with local governments, the UN and other relevant actors and are in line with national COVID-19 regulations and response plans.
Good hygiene saves lives
Regular handwashing is essential to slowing the spread of coronavirus. That is why we are currently expanding our measures to improve hygiene. We are calling on our many years of experience with WASH measures (water, sanitation, and hygiene) and our established connections in villages to provide intensive hygiene education to the local people and support local structures. Together with our partner organisations we are also supplying food to those people most in need.
Solidarity during the crisis: our relief work continues
With the worldwide spread of COVID-19, our 2,803 employees are dealing with considerable challenges in the 36 countries we work in. Despite this, they are committed to continuing the daily fight against hunger and poverty. Taking all necessary precautions and abiding by restrictions, our worldwide relief work continues.
The pandemic and the hunger caused by protective measures are putting countless lives at risk. Now it is up to us! With your donation you'll be supporting people worldwide where the need is greatest.
Worldwide people are suffering from hunger. These people are especially vulnerable during this crisis. They need our help now! Please support us with a donation.Mathias Mogge Secretary General of Welthungerhilfe
As little as €50 is enough, for example, to provide several families with urgently needed sanitary products.
With €100, for example, five villages can be equipped with one hand basin each and chlorine.