Letters

More support needed for the poorest people

April 25th, 2020 5:10 PM

By Southern Star Team

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SIR – Concern’s purpose – as true now as it was in 1968 when we began – is to work with the world’s poorest people.

Coronavirus doesn’t discriminate, but inequality does. The poorest people will be vastly less able to battle this virus without our help.

The people Concern works with are those living in countries with only the most basic of health systems, or where clinics and hospitals has been decimated by conflict.

Countries such as Central African Republic, which only has three ventilators for a population of three million people. The poorest are those living in overcrowded refugee camps or informal settlements in cities, places where social distancing is almost impossible.

Responding in countries like these is daunting and complex but it is possible, and right now it is more crucial than ever.

In the 23 countries where Concern works, our operations focus on practical ways to invest in systems, support prevention and to ensure that the poorest are able to feed themselves and their families.

Our work in response to Covid-19 is based on learnings from responding to Ebola and other crises: in Iraq, we are distributing hygiene kits to 17,000 homes; in Bangladesh, we have accelerated the delivery of food rations to Rohingya refugees to ensure sick and underweight children continue to receive nutrition support and treatment don’t have a break in their nutrition treatment; in Haiti, we’re installing more water points in densely populated areas and working with youth groups to set up local soap production facilities.

These are only examples of our response and we know that much more will need to be done. Our teams are ready.

None of this work would be possible without the continued support of people here in Ireland.

I was recently reminded of this the day before the national lockdown here in Ireland took effect when an ambulance driver from St Luke’s Hospital in Dublin who was on his way to do his own life saving work, dropped a donation in to Concern in support of our humanitarian work overseas.

Covid-19 demands more of us than ever before, and we are all humanitarians now.

On behalf of all those that we work with, can I please offer my sincere thanks. Without you, there would be no Concern.

Dominic MacSorley,

CEO, Concern Worldwide,

52-55 Lower Camden Street,

Dublin 2.

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