Coronavirus spares no country

Monday 20 April 2020

As expected, the Coronavirus pandemic has spread to many developing countries and affects more and more people every day.

In addition to having to face poverty - often extreme poverty - the populations of countries in the South are now facing the consequences of a major sanitary but also economic crisis, which will persist. For these people without resources, the effects of the Coronavirus will be extreme and disastrous. For some, confinement is not even an option. They must continue to go out to work or find food for their families. Many may never recover," says Dr. Michael Feit, Head of International Cooperation at Caritas Luxembourg.

As soon as the first cases of Coronavirus were announced, Caritas Luxembourg took the first steps and set up activities to help the population.

It is obviously essential to raise awareness about the virus, the measures to be taken and the barrier gestures that allow people to protect themselves. Many people are not at all aware of the risks they run. But that is not enough. We must also help them protect themselves physically. So we distribute masks, gloves and hygiene products such as soap," says Dr. Feit.

But beyond the virus, it is the indirect effects of the virus that are also of particular concern to Caritas Luxembourg.

People who were already vulnerable before are now falling into extreme poverty: they have lost their jobs or can no longer access them, and have no resources to buy food. One of our priorities is therefore to distribute food packages to them. And to continue to do so for all those for whom we were already doing it before, such as the Syrian refugees, for example. For them, this is now a vital emergency," Feit continues.

Caritas Luxembourg is currently intervening to help the population fight against the Coronavirus and its effects in 6 countries: in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Haiti, Laos, South Sudan, Lebanon and Syria.

We are very fortunate to be able to count on faithful partners in the field or directly on our local offices, which makes the implementation of our projects much easier and our activities much faster and more efficient. But this crisis is unprecedented. I have been in this business for more than 25 years and this is the first time we have had to deal with an emergency of this magnitude, in so many countries at the same time. The number of people affected is enormous, and the help they will need to return to their former lives will be very long-term," Dr. Feit adds.

Through the Caritas Corona-Helpline, people who find it difficult to buy food, pay their rent, bills and debts and who feel alone with their problems will be able to find support.

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