COVID-19 Appeal

Donate now to protect families at risk during the pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic has upended the lives of families across the world.

As the virus spreads throughout Africa, some of the world’s most vulnerable will be faced with devastating consequences.

People in the world’s poorest countries face a convergence of inequalities and emergencies, from poverty and food crises, to conflict and climate change. Amid these existing vulnerabilities, COVID-19 will knock children and families least able to cope first and hardest.

While we look to protect those closest to us from the ravages of the coronavirus, we cannot forget vulnerable children and families in Africa.

What Aidlink is doing

From providing hand-washing facilities, to delivering life-saving protective equipment, Aidlink partners are on the ground, working to slow the spread of COVID-19 and protect the most vulnerable.

In Kenya and Uganda, we’re waging a war on misinformation, bringing trustworthy guidance on COVID-19 to families. Our partners are distributing personal protective equipment, soap and sanitary products to vulnerable communities.

We’re delivering food to out-of-school children as lockdowns have cut livelihoods and access to markets, and installing hand washing stations as the first line of defence for families.

We’re doing all we can to protect families in some of the world’s most deprived areas from the effects of COVID-19. But the situation is worsening, and we need to reach more people. Together we can help families get through this. Please donate today. 

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The COVID-19 pandemic has upended the lives of families across the world. Health systems struggle, workplaces and schools shutter, and borders close.

Africa is one of the last regions to confirm COVID-19 had reached its shores, and the virus is now spreading. There have been confirmed cases in 52 countries on the continent to date with Kenya and Uganda both recording their first cases in March. Should the disease take root it will compound already fragile healthcare systems and economies.

External shocks exacerbate pre-existing vulnerabilities, reinforcing social and economic inequalities. COVID19 is no different. While Western societies have the social welfare programmes to cushion the vulnerable, and healthcare staff to treat the sick, access to the same is out of reach for many in Africa. The poor are more susceptible to the virus but it is food insecurity caused as a result of lockdowns and other preventative measures that causes more immediate worry. Ultimately, it is the poor who will feel the brunt of the economic fallout.

Endoinyo Enker Primary - Aidlink
Endoinyo Enker Primary - Aidlink

Social distancing is a luxury few can afford in Africa. Millions live in informal settlements: shanty towns and displaced persons camps. Large families are common and often share one small, cramped room. In Kibera, Africa’s largest slum, 250,000 of the world’s poorest people live on just 2.5 sq km of land.

The United Nations has issued stark warnings; the shock of COVID-19 on vulnerable African nations risks people falling deeper into poverty. Lockdowns and travel restrictions threaten food supply chains. Many Africans rely on informal work; being unable to earn a wage means being unable to eat.

Travel restrictions are being felt acutely by pastoralists – the Karamojong in Uganda, the Turkana and the Maasai in Kenya – who depend on being able to move their livestock around, in search of water, for their livelihoods.

Children are particularly susceptible to the effects of COVID-19. Many school children already face obstacles attending school and the ability to learn is further hindered by the stress of food insecurity and health. With schools closed, the most vulnerable have no access to education. School materials or digital devices are out of reach, deepening the learning divide between children in low and high-income homes.

This virus does discriminate. As Irish president Michael D Higgins recently noted, “While the coronavirus is a global problem,and requires a global response – societies differ in their capacity to respond, such as those in Africa who are in such a perilous position in terms of resources that might be utilised in responding to Covid-19.”

While Covid-19 is a global threat, it is the most vulnerable who are most at risk.

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