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.
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.
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.