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Dangers of Covid-19 to the world’s poor

June 13th, 2020 5:10 PM

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SIR – Through your pages can I express my sincere thanks to the people of Cork for their continuing support for Self Help Africa’s work overseas, in these challenging times.

While Covid-19 has caused untold challenges to families across Ireland, one of the anomalies of the pandemic has been the relatively low levels of recorded cases, to date, in ‘poorer’ parts of the world. Indeed, less than 2% of all cases thus far have been recorded in regions of Africa and Asia that account for half of the global population.

However, to underestimate the dangers of Covid-19 to the world’s poor could be catastrophic.

Weak health care systems, lack of testing, and high levels of poverty make sub-Saharan Africa particularly vulnerable, not just to this pandemic, but also to an extreme hunger crisis that will likely result from its economic fall-out. A World Bank report this week estimated that up to 60 million people globally could be pushed into extreme poverty because of Coronavirus. Many of these will be in Africa.

Right now, Self Help Africa’s efforts are focused on the prevention and protection of the poor communities that we work with against the spread of Covid-19. We’re also supporting wider efforts in our programme countries to help avert a spike in outbreaks of the pandemic, in Africa.

We are doing this at a time of considerable challenges at home in Ireland, with a host of charity events and collections being cancelled out of necessity.

It is therefore with gratitude that I express my thanks, through your pages, to the many supporters in County Cork who have continued to donate to our work, and who have supported Self Help Africa’s year-long campaign with Glenisk, ‘One Million Trees’. This results in donations to our work from every ‘One Million Trees’ branded bio pot yogurt that is bought by households, in their weekly shopping.

The One Million Trees campaign is allowing us to plant 100,000 new native trees in Ireland in 2020, together with a million new trees in Africa – to provide food, fertiliser, shade, shelter and an income for rural poor families.

I wish you continued safety in these challenging times,

Ray Jordan, CEO,
Self Help Africa,
Parkgate Street,
Dublin 8.

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