Now is not the time to build barriers, but for the world to unite in love and compassion.

We need a global response to this global pandemic

People pray before Mass at a church service in the DRC. (celebrated by Abbé Michel Kabongenaje, who frequently preaches about the dangers of Ebola)

As we cope with lockdown, the coronavirus pandemic is changing all our lives.

For some of us it has been devastating, losing loved ones or desperately worrying about those who are vulnerable.

All of us feel the day-to-day impact, some facing financial hardship or working in a front-line role at greater risk.

But as people of faith, we also think of, and pray for, our sisters and brothers in developing countries who are facing this pandemic with fragile health systems:  some of which have almost no intensive care beds or ventilators.

Food prices have already risen with borders closing, the poorest are losing their jobs and income with wholesale shutdowns.

Furthermore, inadequate healthcare, lack of access to basic washing facilities and limited ability for social distancing inevitably increases the risk of contracting the disease on an incalculable scale.

Coronavirus is laying bare the inequalities that exist in our society, and for countries with health systems much more fragile than our own, the effects are likely to be even more devastating..

Despite being asked to stay at home we can still do something about this crisis.

We can use our voices here in the UK to ask our government to take practical, concrete actions to assist developing countries in the Coronavirus response.

We are all in this together, one global family. And as Pope Francis reminds us:

“We need to strengthen the conviction that we are one single human family. There are no frontiers or barriers, political or social, behind which we can hide, still less is there room for the globalization of indifference” LS #52

Please will you sign the CAFOD petition to ask our government to work with other world leaders to help the most vulnerable people in our world to cope with this crisis?

To sign the petition online visit cafod.org.uk/coronaviruscampaign

What is the petition asking?  

It’s asking our Prime Minister to work with other world leaders to:

  •  Make sure that any vaccine developed with UK public money is made available to everyone regardless of income or where in the world they live.
  •  Provide urgent financial and technical support to help developing countries cope with this crisis.
  • Cancel all debt payments by developing countries due in 2020 so that countries can spend money on much needed healthcare rather than debt repayments.
  • Put plans in place to rebuild a fairer, more just society after the crisis so that the world’s most vulnerable people can live in dignity and to restore our common home for future generations.

 Please sign this petition to our Prime Minister today.  And please, please can we ask you to share it with your parish, your family and friends and your wider social network, if you can.

 

Even though we are no longer meeting face-to-face in parishes, there are new ways of connecting online, whether that is through parish websites, bulletins, emails or social media. 

We are in the midst of a public health challenge here in the UK, but sadly experience tells us that it will be far worse in the developing world, which is why we launched an EMERGENCY APPEAL two weeks ago.

We need a global response to this global problem and CAFOD is responding quickly. Our local experts are already in these communities helping those in need, preventing the spread of the virus and protecting lives.

We are providing personal protective equipment (PPE) for doctors and nurses at this Catholic Health Clinic and Maternity Unit in Kailahun District, Sierra Leone:

A representative from the centre said:

“The coronavirus has really affected the work of the clinic because the patient numbers have decreased [because people are fearful of contracting coronavirus] and if it continues like that, there’s no hope of reaching those who are sick.
“But CAFOD has made us hopeful. We are thankful to them for providing hygiene materials and PPE. We thank God for CAFOD and we pray that we’ll be able to get more funds in supporting health care.
“We thank you CAFOD for your thoughtfulness of remembering our clinic and giving us this timely support. We are very grateful to you because the PPE and hygiene materials were really timely and it is making our work easier. Thank you. And may God help you to get more funds so that you continue to help humanity.”

We are one Church family – here and overseas – we are the same family.

We are expanding and adapting our programme work to prevent the spread and reduce the risk of coronavirus in communities

Every step we take now getting food and safe, clean water to families, will help prevent deaths and reduce suffering.

  • Our valuable experts on the ground understand the challenges and needs in their respective communities. They are able to respond quickly and are already involved in activities that include:
  • Delivering food to where it is needed most.
  • Improving hygiene, handwashing & sanitation at community & household level.
  • Producing radio messages, posters & leaflets in local languages on risks and prevention.
  • Training community volunteers to carry out awareness campaigns.

Please sign the petition and spread the word!
Donate to the appeal, if you are able to. Thank you.

Please remember our global family in your prayers.

Pray together.  

 

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