20.03.2020 / For immediate release
Human Appeal launches COVID-19 emergency appeal
Human Appeal has launched an emergency appeal to combat the spread of COVID-19 in vulnerable communities in the UK and across nine countries.
The COVID-19 coronavirus is a global pandemic that threatens the lives of millions of people around the world. If the virus reaches refugee camps, where people are already struggling with inadequate healthcare, poor hygiene provisions, and overcrowding it is expected to spread at an alarming rate, and could result in a devastating loss of life.
Human Appeal’s appeal will provide customised COVID-19 hygiene kits that can keep a family of six safe from the virus for a month. Our appeal will also educate families on the best hygiene practices to prevent infection. COVID-19 is a real and dangerous threat, but with the right supplies and information, the grave risk to crowded communities can be reduced.
Our teams are working around the clock to safely control this global pandemic in the most vulnerable areas.
We’re aiming to work locally in the UK and in all nine of the countries in which we’re currently operating, with a focus on camps for displaced and refugee families.
Each hygiene kit will contain alcohol-based hand sanitizer, soap, surgical face masks, disposable gloves, wet wipes, disinfectant, detergent, toilet paper, and sponges. It will also include an easy-to-understand guide to reducing the risk of catching and spreading the virus.
The family hygiene kits costs £70 and will protect a family-of-six for one month. Our main focus will be vulnerable families in Iraq, Pakistan, Palestine, Syria, Somalia, and Yemen, but we also aim to support at-risk communities in Bangladesh, Myanmar, and Lebanon.
Protecting the people we support, our staff and volunteers
All Human Appeal field staff who will be in contact with the people we support will wear protective N95 masks and have their health monitored at virus screening stations to ensure that they don’t put the most vulnerable at risk.
Here in the UK, the safety of staff and volunteers is of utmost importance. We are following World Health Organization and governmental guidance, which include hygiene and infection management and non-essential travel restrictions. In order to protect staff and the wider society, our office staff
will work from home as of Monday 23rd March, a contingency that we have already pre-trialled successfully, alongside a business continuity plan. We’re encouraging staff to monitor their health and to self-isolate as much as possible.
To safeguard our volunteers, we’re limiting events, and moving towards volunteering that can be done remotely, such as phone calls with vulnerable people who are isolated at this time. We’re assessing all volunteers to ensure that only people with low-risk carry out essential tasks, with limited contact, such as delivering critical items to food banks. All our volunteers and staff are regularly updated and have access to our Human Appeal COVID-19 helpline, which is operational 24/7.
The impact on our programmes
It is imperative that our lifesaving work continues at this critical time. Human Appeal is working to safely minimise the impact of COVID-19 on our ongoing projects. Travel restrictions and the imposed self-isolation of some field staff will likely impact some of our programmes, but we are rolling out contingency plans to ensure that we continue to deliver existing projects, whilst scaling up to prevent the spread of COVID-19
- Ends -
Notes to editors
Members of HA staff will be available for interview and comment on our Covid-19 response. For this or any other media enquiries please contact Sam Baxter on 07495 708236