Continuing the fight against coronavirus
25 February 2021
Your donations are the difference for hundreds of communities in the fight against coronavirus.
By donating to CAFOD, you are supporting the Caritas Church network, one of the largest aid networks in the world.
Together, we reach out to communities in 165 countries, through a global family of experts who know where the need is greatest and how to respond.
The coronavirus pandemic has pushed even more communities into extreme need, with families in refugee camps or areas of conflict facing a new and deadly threat from the virus itself, and from lockdown restrictions.
Responding to coronavirus around the world
Find photos of our response around the world:
Rohingya camps in Bangladesh
Since 2017, over 700,000 Rohingya refugees have fled from Myanmar and now live in makeshift shelters in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh. The local experts you support have been providing emergency help since day one.
The camps are very overcrowded and shelters are makeshift, making social distancing advice impractical, but outreach workers on the ground continue to provide clean water and health advice to vulnerable families.
White Nile camps in Sudan
Almost one million people have fled violence in South Sudan and are living in temporary camps in the White Nile area of Sudan. As well as providing coronavirus prevention advice for vulnerable families in the camps, you've helped to set up handwashing stations and provided PPE for outreach workers to do their jobs safely.
The situation in South Sudan remains too dangerous for many families to return home, but those who have stayed are also dealing with the effects of coronavirus, as well as challenges such as accessing water.
Syrian refugee camps in Lebanon, Syria and Jordan
Overcrowding in Syrian camps, plus a lack of water and hygiene facilities, means that families fleeing conflict are very vulnerable to coronavirus. They don’t have enough money to buy soap, masks or hand sanitiser.
Frontline workers like Mustafa were already at work in the camps, supporting families. Now, as well as providing them with food and shelter, they have built new toilets and handwashing sinks, and given out personal protective equipment, soap to families, along with advice on how they can protect themselves from coronavirus.
Coronavirus is a crisis on top of a crisis for countries already facing conflict, but our local experts are adapting to reach those who need it most.
Despite the challenges of the pandemic, CAFOD's partner on the ground in Yemen is still getting aid to those in need. Working within lockdown restrictions, they have continued to give out emergency cash to the most vulnerable families who simply cannot afford to buy food.
People fleeing from violence in Tigray, northern Ethiopia, into crowded temporary camps are at particular risk of coronavirus. Your donations are helping to provide hygiene kits to help stop the spread of the virus, along with water, food, emergency shelter materials and blankets.
Sat Rot and his family were immediately affected by coronavirus and lockdown: "Nobody buys, even if we have goods to sell". Thanks to your support, he and his family were given emergency food and hygiene supplies, and then five chickens, plus training in farming.
Local experts you support have distributed food and hygiene packages to 580 of the poorest and most vulnerable families in three districts of Sri Lanka.
Packages included rice, sugar, vegetables, soap and face masks and outreach workers spent time raising awareness with the families who came to collect them on the importance of hand washing, social distancing and use of face masks.
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Our network of local experts are applying the lessons learned from tackling Ebola in order to fight coronavirus. Communicating the importance of handwashing, and getting this message out through trusted faith leaders, has been essential.
Women at the Centre Olame, which supports affected by physical and sexual violence in DR Congo, make masks, soap and detergent to combat the spread of coronavirus.
Through the work of local experts in Liberia, you are raising of awareness of coronavirus in remote communities, as well as with vulnerable groups in more villages and towns. This programme is making a difference - distributing hygiene materials and encouraging people to regularly wash their hands is helping to reduce the spread of the virus.
Caritas Niger is distributing hygiene kits and raising awareness of good handwashing as part of CAFOD's coronavirus response. Throught this network of local experts, you are also supporting 36 health centres run by the Catholic Church.
Here hospital staff are checking COVID-19 equipment purchased with CAFOD and Caritas Australia funds. The equipment includes gloves, masks, glasses, aprons and sanitiser to protect frontline staff as they keep the people they serve safe during the crisis.
Lockdown measures to contain coronavirus can cause poor families to go hungry, so we are supporting schools to provide one nutritious meal a day for students who otherwise would struggle to get enough to eat. The food is still being provided even through the schools are currently closed. You have also funded a face mask for every child so they can continue to come and collect their food parcel, plus buckets for handwashing.
Women gathered for a community awareness session on coronavirus. Father Felix addressed the group by saying: "Protecting yourself and your loved ones from the infection of COVID-19 is a duty and a responsibility we cannot ignore. Here, staying at home, maintaining physical distance, regularly washing hands and wearing face masks becomes the greatest of charities and our best gift to humanity."
Doctors and nurses at Handmaids Catholic Health Clinic have been given personal protective equipment with CAFOD funding. This includes face masks, gloves, hand sanitiser, liquid hand soap, and boots.
A COVID-19 awareness-raising workshop in Freetown was attended by 30 faith leaders, as well as CAFOD staff, representatives from the World Health Organization (WHO), and the Ministry of Health. The faith leaders were equipped with reliable information on proper handwashing and advice from the WHO on COVID-19 that they can share in their communities through Mass and sermons.
Local experts deliver emergency food and hand-washing supplies to vulnerable families in Homa Bay, to help them survive the coronavirus outbreak.
You are helping to fund food and hygiene packages, plus training for volunteers, so that we can safely help families living in favelas in São Paulo to survive the coronavirus outbreak.
Homeless people in the city are particularly at risk, and are being given tents and sleeping bags as well as hygeine kits, plus counselling and support.
In the little town of Vitichi, in one of the poorest areas in Bolivia, the local experts you support are providing medical supplies to the local health clinic to stop the spread of coronavirus and helping to build an isolation area for waiting patients.
Extreme weather such as droughts, floods and landslides mean farming in rural Nicaragua is difficult, but coronavirus and lockdown measures have pushed some families into crisis. Female farmers are receiving good quality seeds which are resilient to climate change and can be planted in the next harvest season.
The healthcare team at Ana Manganaro clinic in a remote area of El Salvador are providing health education classes, home visits, phone consultations, pamphlets and community radio. Staff are also carrying out rapid and safe consultations for patients with respiratory problems.
Indigenous Mayan families are receiving emergency food and hygiene kits you have helped to fund. Protective vests and gloves for outreach staff to wear have been provided, as well as digital thermometers that are used to check people’s health, so they can be referred to local clinic.
In Lima, Peru, you are helping to provide food and money for medicine to vulnerable Peruvian families and Venezuelan migrants. These groups do not have enough food to eat as many of them are not currently on lists to receive any support through government schemes.
Hundreds of food packages and personal protective equipment kits for children have been delivered to rural families in need in the Colombian Amazon by Church teams, with your help.
“People managed to receive an immediate and vital response delivered with a lot of respect and love."
How your campaigning has helped people to survive, rebuild and heal during the pandemic
Covid has made the debt crisis faced by some of the world's poorest countries even worse, with many governments having to spend more debt payments to governments and rich banks overseas than on their own healthcare systems.
Debt cancellation is the quickest way of ensuring that countries facing debt crises have the money needed to respond to the health emergency, fund vaccines and rebuild from the pandemic.
That’s why thousands of CAFOD supporters have urged rich governments, big banks and organisations such as the World Bank and International Monetary Fund to cancel debts for countries in need of this.
And it’s why young CAFOD supporters travelled to Cornwall during the G7 summit in 2021 to demand the presidents and prime ministers of the richest countries make sure that everyone has access to vaccines.
What you can do to help
You prayers and gifts are continuing to make a crucial difference by protecting and improving the lives of those in poor communities.
You can also continue to urge private banks to cancel debts so that people in the most marginalised communities can rebuild from the pandemic.