"Tip of the iceberg:" Irish charities team up to tackle devastation of Covid-19 in vulnerable communities abroad 1 month ago

"Tip of the iceberg:" Irish charities team up to tackle devastation of Covid-19 in vulnerable communities abroad

"The situation is even more critical..."

Six Irish charities have teamed up to provide support to international communities worst affected by the Covid-19 pandemic.

ActionAid, Christian Aid, Plan International, Self Help Africa, Tearfund and World Vision have teamed up to created the Irish Emergency Alliance, a group directing their resources to countries already struggling to cope with the impact of conflict, displacement and widespread poverty - issues only increased by the Covid-19 pandemic.

The group's new appeal will go towards food, water, medical care, soap and masks in vulnerable communities in Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, and others.

Millions of people are currently displaced in these communities, unable to socially distance as they live in refugee camps or slums.

Helen Keogh, Chair of the Irish Emergency Alliance, says that the issues experienced in Ireland amid the pandemic are significantly harsher in these communities, many of which would have struggled with poverty before the coronavirus outbreak.

"The situation is even more critical in countries already struggling with the impact of conflict and buckling under the strain of massive refugee and displacement crises,” she says.

“We have all seen the devastating impact of the coronavirus crisis in Ireland, so you can imagine how much harder it is for people living in countries without enough doctors or nurses let alone enough ICU beds or ventilators.

“A lack of widespread testing in many developing countries suggests that we may only be seeing the tip of the iceberg."

Minister of State for Overseas Development Aid and Diaspora, Colm Brophy TD, says that the government has supplied €16 million to the six charities this year, to aid in their protection of these vulnerable communities.

“The coronavirus pandemic is a challenge unlike any other and what will define us is how we as a nation respond," he says.

"I am proud to see these Irish agencies combining their strengths at this critical time to reach some of the most vulnerable people in the world. I am sure the Irish people will continue their track-record of outstanding generosity even as they overcome difficulties here at home and support the Alliance’s efforts."

You can find out more about the alliance, or make a donation, here.