This week, thanks to the generosity of the UK public, the Disasters Emergency Committee – of which CAFOD is a member – Coronavirus Appeal has raised an incredible £10 million to help those living in the most fragile states.
The DEC Coronavirus Appeal will help the most vulnerable people in six of the world’s most fragile states: Yemen and Syria; Somalia, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo; and Afghanistan.
In Syria, our local partners on the ground are reporting urgent concerns about the risks of the virus spreading, as vulnerable people are unable to take the basic measures to protect themselves.
Mustafa, 28, a frontline worker supported by CAFOD, lives in a camp outside Idlib with displaced people.
He explained how they are preparing for what he calls ‘an explosion of coronavirus’ in the camps. He said:
“My heart is beating so hard; we are expecting an explosion of coronavirus in the camps.
The coming days are really critical for us.
“Doctors are preparing for the spread of the virus. People live in large overcrowded settlements in tents with maybe 12 people and no access to clean water. It will be a catastrophe. Disaster. Please help them.”
Three Welsh cyclists – two of which now work for the NHS – have called on the people of Wales to join the Disaster Emergency Committee (DEC) Coronavirus Appeal, which is working to help the world’s most vulnerable communities threatened by Covid-19.
In a video message Rachel Draper, a coach at Welsh Cycling and former double World Champion cyclist, was joined by retired cycling husband and wife, Olympian, Ciara Oliva (nee Horne) and Commonwealth champion, Lewis Oliva – who now both work for the NHS – to call for support of the DEC appeal in Wales.
“The Coronavirus pandemic has touched many people in our towns and communities across Wales,” explained Ciara, who was an Olympian at Rio 2016, European Champion, a double World Cup winner and World Championship medallist.
“Sadly, families have lost loved ones. We’ve had to adapt to a new way of doing things, working, shopping, exercising, but perhaps most of all we have missed being able to get together with our closest friends and family.
“But we know from our own experience, here at home, that simple steps, taking simple precautions makes a huge difference.”
Now, a full-time physiotherapist with the NHS, Ciara explained how the appeal shows the dire need in poorest countries around the world.
In countries like Yemen, Syria and Sudan, families who have already had to flee violent conflict, now they face the new threat of coronavirus, without the precautions to protect themselves.
Ciara continued: “In some countries, volunteers use bikes to travel out to very remote communities to give them vital information about to how to prevent infection from Covid-19. As elite cyclists, we salute their effort, commitment, and determination to get the job done and save lives.
“Here in Wales, we have been told, time and again, how important it is to wash our own hands frequently, to stop the spread of Coronavirus.
“It’s easy for us because we can turn on the tap at home and out comes clean water. So clean, we can drink it. But in many countries around the world, the very thing that is essential for handwashing – clean water – just isn’t available.”
Cyclist Lewis Oliva, who spent six years with British cycling, winning medals at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, World Cup and European and Commonwealth Games, before going onto study medicine at Cardiff University, added:
“We know the charities that make up the DEC have unique expertise and when those charities come together to launch an appeal, things must be serious.
“Charities like CAFOD, a member of the DEC, are already on the ground in places like Syria, doing what they can, but they need our help.
“The need is urgent. But together, we can help families protect themselves with water, soap, handwashing stations and healthcare information.”
Whatever you can give, however small, it will make a huge difference to help us reach and protect the most vulnerable people who have already lost everything.
Join us tomorrow morning – Thursday 16 July at 10:30 am – to join Matthew Carter, Head of Humanitarian Programmes and Damian Conlin, Head of Supporter Fundraising at CAFOD – in conversation.
They will be giving us the inside story on how the Disasters Emergency Committee’s (DEC) Coronavirus Appeal helps CAFOD scale up protection for people who have lost everything in countries like Syria, South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo…
Register to attend with your name and email address using the following link below on your phone, tablet or computer.
CAFOD has joined forces with the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) to help millions of vulnerable people, whose lives are at risk as the Coronavirus pandemic spreads – and we are inviting communities and parishes across England and Wales to get involved.
CAFOD’s Director, Christine Allen, said:
“In the UK, our struggle against coronavirus has entered the next phase, but in many of the world’s poorest communities, the fight has only just begun.”
Millions of families living in crowded camps or makeshift shelters are having to face the coronavirus with little access to running water, soap, or medical aid.
Families who have been forced to flee their homes in places like Syria, South Sudan, and the Democratic of Congo, are especially vulnerable.
On 28 September 2018, a 7.5 magnitude earthquake and tsunami struck Central Sulawesi Province, Indonesia.
The results were devastating.
More than 2,100 people were killed, and over 11,000 people were seriously injured. The tsunami that was triggered by the earthquake, struck the capital Palu and overwhelmed nearby towns with surges that reached up to three metres.
In the midst of the disaster and destruction, the UK public responded to help to fund an amazing international response.
CAFOD is a founding member of the DEC (The Disasters Emergency Committee).
The DEC brings 14 leading UK aid charities together in times of crisis to provide and deliver aid.
The DEC responds to disasters in the world’s poorest countries,using a set of criteria to help it decide when to launch an appeal and how it can be most effective.
The 14 member agencies are experts in humanitarian aid, delivering effective disaster response and swift humanitarian assistance to those that need it most.
The decisions about how your donations are allocated to each member agency when a disaster strikes are taken in advance, based on each charity’s ability to deliver aid where it is needed.
The DEC makes certain that how it spends your money ensures that communities receive the urgent humanitarian aid required, as well as long term support to rebuild their lives after a disaster.
So we’d like to say a heartfelt thank you for your extremely generous support for the DEC Cyclone Idai appeal – in parishes and in schools. It’s truly humbling.
As of 7 April the DEC and its member charities had raised over £29 million for people in Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi who have been affected by Cyclone Idai.
Thank you too to people in Wales who donated to DEC Cymru – raising over £850,000.
Sadly more than 1000 people have lost their lives and and almost 3 million people are affected. And now Mozambique has confirmed 3,100 cases of cholera and six deaths. A huge vaccination programme is underway.
Listen to a live report from Gabriele Bertani CAFOD’s country representative speaking from Maputo on the situation on the ground, our intervention and challenges affecting the lives of millions of people.
Just click on the link below to listen to the recording.
|Direct webinar link to register is: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/986376677044844034|
This will be a long-term aid effort to help families to start to rebuild their lives.
Please consider donating to CAFOD’s Cyclone Idai emergency appeal.
Please continue to pray for all those affected by this disaster.
O Lord, be near to your people now,
as they face devastation and loss.
Stay close to those who are broken-hearted
and hold fast to those whose spirit is crushed.
Lead us and guide us for our hope rests in you.
Inspire us to reach out
and answer the cries of those in need.
So that those who mourn may be comforted,
those who are frightened find courage,
those who hunger and thirst may be satisfied
and those who are homeless find refuge.
O God, make haste,
hear the cry of your people,
help us, our shield, our strength and our rock.
We ask this through Christ our Lord, Amen.