Millions of lives are at stake as the COVID-19 pandemic hits the world's most fragile countries.

No country, rich or poor, is immune to the devastation in the wake of COVID-19. But the risks of harm are not equally shared, and families living in places suffering war and instability are facing an increasingly deadly situation.

The reality for families living in places like Syria, Yemen, Afghanisation and South Sudan is that water and soap that provide protection against the virus are dangerously scarce. In shelters and camps, shared facilities and overcrowding mean social distancing measures are near impossible. Temporary settlements do not have enough hospital beds or supplies to treat those who fall ill with COVID-19, and there is no national health service to rely on.

This virus could be devastating for children living in the world's most vulnerable places. Their immune systems might already be weakened by underlying illnesses, and treatment for other conditions, like malnutrition or pneumonia, will be extremely limited.

Save the Children is proud to be part of the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC). DEC appeals are reserved for major emergencies that cannot be dealt with by the usual coping mechanisms within affected countries. The committee's decision to respond now shows that vulnerable places are at crisis point in this pandemic. We must pull together now if we are to protect the futures and dreams of children living in these areas.

What Save the Children is doing

Save the Children is the world's largest independent organisation for children, and they have over 100 years' experience in responding to extreme humanitarian crises, from the war in Yemen to the most recent Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Save the Children are already running programmes, influencing governments and working with communities to keep children safe in the world's poorest countries. Save the Children’s partnership with Castle Water helps make this vital work possible. We joined forces in August 2017. In the space of just 18 months, Castle Water raised an incredible £120,000 through generous corporate, employee and customer donations. But cases of COVID-19 in the places Save the Children work have already started to surge and they urgently need more funds to continue and scale up their life-saving activities.

  • £5,675 could provide 500 children in Yemen with a 'school in a bag' kit.
  • £25,000 could pay for one of Save the Children's Emergency Health Unit technical staff to support five countries for one month, to help them set up and strengthen healthcare services to tackle outbreaks of COVID-19.
  • £100,000 could fund the construction of 20 15-metre hand-dug wells to make sure communities have access to clean, safe water for drinking and washing.

This virus must be beaten everywhere if it is to be beaten anywhere. Now is the time to show up for the countries and places that will be hit hardest by this pandemic and have already lost so much.

Click here to donate to Save the Children's Coronavirus Appeal

Click here to read more about Castle Water's partnership with Save the Children