What does it look like to protect the world’s most vulnerable from the novel coronavirus?
The novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, continues to spread globally and has reached countries with weak health systems which are less prepared to combat the disease. Vulnerable populations and those living in crisis will be hit the hardest by this outbreak.
That’s where the IRC comes in. We’ve launched coronavirus preparedness and response programmes in over 40 countries, including Greece, Italy, Syria, Yemen and the United States. From sharing crucial information in Italy to training health care workers in Syria, to continuing our vital mental health support to refugees stuck on the Greek islands, our teams are on the ground responding to the outbreak every day.
Follow this space for the latest on our vital work around the world:
- 20,000 refugees are currently trapped on the Greek island of Moria in overcrowded conditions where self isolation is near-impossible. The IRC is providing vital information about COVID-19 to refugees and migrants trapped on the Greek islands, as well as continuing to provide mental health support.
- On Monday, March 23, COVID-19 was confirmed in Syria.
“The devastation it'll cause in Idlib is unimaginable.”— International Rescue Committee - UK (@RESCUE_UK) March 24, 2020
9 years of conflict have left Syria's health system in ruins. If #COVID-19 spreads across the country, it will have devastating consequences.https://t.co/sjpdtoEipo
- Italy has been one of the hardest hit by the coronavirus outbreak as it sweeps across Europe. Refugees and migrants in the country are especially vulnerable. In the midst of the country's lockdown, the IRC is using its Refugee Info platform to share vital information with Italy's refugee population.
- The IRC remains committed to continuing to serve and support refugees in the U.S., even as our offices move to remote work. Our team in Denver is working hard to put together and deliver essential supplies—including food—to clients across the Denver metro area.
- Even before COVID-19, our interactive service mapping and information platform CuentaNos.org provided information on shelter, health, education, and legal assistance for users in El Salvador and Honduras. Today, the platform is used to provide crucial information about COVID-19 to over 140 partners and all users who visit the site.
- In Boise, Idaho, our teams have translated COVID-19 guidance into eight languages, including Swahili, Russian, Spanish, and Arabic, and are sharing the resources with the community.
- On March 18, Jordan completely shut down because of COVID-19. But IRC’s frontline workers in Jordan continue to provide essential health services in refugee camps in the country.
- “For the ten of millions of people who the IRC serves around the world, self-isolating, washing their hands, and getting to a health center if they are in need, is practically impossible.” Our CEO and president David Miliband released a special message on our response and how you can make a difference.
"Our teams are doing an amazing job – but they need to do an even bigger job. And for that, we need your help.”— International Rescue Committee - UK (@RESCUE_UK) March 20, 2020
Here’s a message from IRC president & CEO @DMiliband about our COVID-19 response and how you can make a difference. pic.twitter.com/XwJQDbsyNq