So far there has been one reported case of coronavirus in Cox’s Bazar. It’s feared that, if it spreads, it’ll spread fast and the consequences will be catastrophic.
Tearfund staff and partners, alongside the Bangladeshi government and the UN, are supporting people by providing access to clean water, as well as sharing messages about good sanitation to prevent the spread of the virus.
‘We have distributed hygiene kits, but getting access to the camps is likely to become even harder as the country goes into lockdown,’ says Sudarshan Reddy Kodooru, Tearfund’s Country Director in Bangladesh. ‘The handpumps and sanitation facilities we’ve been able to provide will be more important than ever.
‘We will need to dig deep as we care for ourselves, our families and our Rohingya neighbours who are among the most vulnerable people in the world and need our support through this difficult time.’
In Colombia, thousands of Venezuelan refugees, who fled the political and economic crisis back home, are facing weeks with very little food after a coronavirus lockdown.
The city of Barranquilla hosts more than 15,000 Venezuelan families who have taken refuge in temporary accommodation. Most of them depend on being able to go out to work in order to put food on the table, but now they can no longer leave their houses.
‘Children and families have been suffering from lack of food for a long time now and are at high risk because of how impossible it is to get food,’ says Rosa Camargo de Bravo, who leads Tearfund’s work in Latin America and the Caribbean.
To try and stop the spread of coronavirus, the Colombian government ordered that everyone should stay home for the next three weeks.
Thankfully, relief agencies such as Tearfund and local churches have been given special permission to carry on supporting people. In the past week alone our church partners have delivered food baskets to 600 families with young children.
They will continue to reach out to help the most vulnerable, including the elderly and women and children who are at risk of violence and abuse when confined to their homes.