25 March 2020 - In the face of the Covid-19 epidemic: Let us not forget the planet’s most fragile
France faces the violence of this pandemic, which now engulfs the whole world.
Thanks to the implementation of confinement measures coupled with advanced medical infrastructures, our country, like Europe and other industrialized nations, will manage to face down this terrible epidemic, through much tears and hardship. But we will prevail!
Let us then imagine the situation of developing countries on other continents, less favored, sometimes facing conflict.
It is our duty as humanitarians to alert public opinion and governments about the enormous potential impact of COVID-19 on the poorest and most fragile countries, where hundreds of millions of the most vulnerable already face humanitarian and sanitary crises.
If here many of those infected by the virus require hospitalization, it is with fright that we imagine how these countries will manage the influx of the sick. Let us think about the millions of people who live in war-torn countries and in refugee camps. They are already experiencing hell. Will they now have to face even worse?
It seems that confinement is today the only reliable mean to stop the virus’ propagation within a population. How will the poorest amongst these countries manage, when their economies are mostly informal, with poverty rampant, with the bulk of their population needing to go out daily to simply meet their most basic needs. When the state is fragile or failed, with very limited resources constraining its action.
We declare it solemnly: without a massive and immediate solidarity effort from industrialized countries, it is millions of men and women from the most fragile countries of the South who could die, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. Our thoughts go out first to the most vulnerable populations among them, such as internally displaced people and refugees.
We make this appeal as ACTED but also as Alliance2015, the network of eight European-based humanitarian and development NGOs working in 95 countries to serve over 40 million direct beneficiaries, acting collaboratively to achieve greater impact in the face of poverty, hunger, inequality in the spirit of the Sustainable Development Goals.
Our response as Alliance2015 is to adapt our programming wherever we can to help the poorest and most vulnerable to prepare, respond and recover from COVID-19. We respond together with our partners, sharing and using our years of experience in crisis preparedness and response, especially from the Ebola epidemic, to work alongside our partners and face this together.
We call for a massive mobilization to help them prepare for this ordeal and wholeheartedly support the UN Secretary-General’s call for an immediate global ceasefire. Beyond humanitarians, the United Nations, the Red Cross and NGOs, there is a need for state and non-state actors as well as the private sector to support these states, their civil societies and their populations.
It is our humanitarian duty, there is no time to lose. Let us act today!