How Trusts and Foundations can help CARE’s global COVID-19 response

Young people washing their hands in Dadaab, Kenya. Hand hygiene is essential to stopping the spread of COVID-19.

The spread of COVID-19 is a global health emergency. With the situation worsening every day, this is a crisis that we are all facing, wherever we live. The virus respects no borders and this is a time to come together as a global family and think about those who most need our help, now more than ever.

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CARE is quickly mounting a global response to the COVID-19 pandemic – which threatens to overwhelm healthcare resources, particularly in countries with weak public health infrastructures. We are building on our past experience of responding to outbreaks of infectious disease in vulnerable communities – taking particular note that emergencies, including health crises, tend to disproportionately affect women and girls.

What CARE is doing to fight COVID-19

We aim to meet the specific needs of women, men, boys and girls faced by this devastating pandemic through:

Community engagement

Building on our existing programming, CARE will provide guidance to the communities and partners we work with on risks, prevention, signs and symptoms. Women and girls remain central to this effort, as they frequently play the primary role in household hygiene.

Hygiene promotion

CARE will draw on our extensive experience in promoting handwashing – a simple and hugely effective measure everyone can take to reduce the risk of COVID-19. Our water, sanitation and hygiene teams – along with other CARE programme teams – will introduce or scale up handwashing activities, such as the provision of soap and handwashing stations, conducting handwashing demonstrations, and tackling barriers to good hand hygiene.

Water supply

We are exploring opportunities to scale up safe water supplies to facilitate good personal and household hygiene.

Gender and protection

Crises exacerbate age, gender, and disability inequalities and place women, girls, and other vulnerable populations at increased risk of gender-based violence (GBV) and intimate partner violence. This is already a key area of CARE’s work around the world, and we will use our expertise to strengthen and prioritise GBV protection and support throughout our COVID-19 response.

Sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR)

CARE is prioritising the continuation of ongoing SRHR programming, as healthcare systems – particularly in lower-resource countries – are diverting resources to the COVID-19 response. Based on CARE’s experience responding to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, school closures and decreased access to SRHR services are likely to result in increased rates of unplanned pregnancies.

Psychosocial support

The emotional toll of a global health crisis cannot be underestimated – with effects on both healthcare workers and people who are being treated for COVID-19. CARE will work to bolster the availability of resources, such as psychological first aid, for vulnerable populations.

How a donation from your Trust or Foundation can make a crucial and immediate difference to people in need

In a humanitarian crisis, timing is crucial. So it is important CARE has the necessary resources to respond quickly to crises as soon as they occur, whenever and wherever they occur. Our Emergency Response Fund provides immediate support and resources where they are most needed. It is designed to release financial resources within 24 hours of a request from our country offices and/or partner organisations, to enable them to deliver timely and targeted support to people in the world’s poorest and most vulnerable areas.

Your funds will be directed to the emergency response pool funding and will then be reallocated by CARE’s expert humanitarian technical team to CARE country offices who are most in need of the fund to implement their COVID-19 response. So far requests have been received from the Philippines, South Sudan, Haiti, Palestine WBG, North East Syria, Burkina Faso & Niger, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Myanmar, Lebanon, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Ethiopia, with many more countries expected to request emergency funding soon.

Partnerships for prevention

CARE is coordinating our COVID-19 response with the World Health Organisation (WHO), the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and other leading public health and humanitarian actors, as well as national governments and local community leaders. CARE’s response to infectious disease, such as the West African Ebola outbreak in 2014-15, has centred on bolstering community mobilisation activities to raise public awareness and promote safe health and hygiene behaviour. In our Ebola response we were able to engage with people effectively thanks to our existing community ties in countries heavily affected by the outbreak. Our response to COVID-19 will similarly build on close cooperation with community members.

How your Trust or Foundation can help

Time is of the essence as COVID-19 will inevitably spread to vulnerable populations worldwide. CARE is ramping up our efforts to help communities prepare. In order to mount our response, we require fast and flexible sources of funding.

We thank you for considering a generous grant as the world braces to meet one of the most pressing health challenges of our time.

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