Attraction launched to assist the world's poorest communities struggle Covid-19

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Rita Rani receives her hygiene kit in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh(Photo: Tearfund partner)

The implementation of social distancing measures and hand-washing campaigns in the poorest communities in the world is a "Herculean task", warned the Christian aid organization Tearfund.

It has launched an appeal to expand support for hygiene and awareness-raising work in developing countries at risk from the corona virus.

"We are very concerned about some of the poorest countries where life is already difficult and there is little infrastructure to deal with corona viruses," said Jane Pleace, Tearfund's Global Fundraising Director.

"Living in a crowded household in a densely populated community like a refugee camp and walking long waterways make it difficult for people to take seemingly simple measures such as social distancing and increased hand washing. These are incredibly tough questions piled on top of an already challenging one Everyday life. "

A particularly worrying area is Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh, which is home to almost a million Rohingya refugees.

Sudarshan Kodooru, Tearfund's country director in Bangladesh, said overcrowding and lack of sanitation are major challenges in the refugee camp.

"The sanitary and hygienic facilities in the camp are already inadequate and the streets are narrow and crowded. This makes social distancing extremely difficult and there are currently not enough hand washing facilities," said Kodooru.

"Tearfund works both in the camps and in the surrounding host communities, handing out leaflets about hand washing, distancing and recognizing symptoms, handing out hygiene kits with soap, disinfectant and detergent powder, and installing 200 municipal washing facilities and giving food to those in quarantine."

Day laborers are also badly affected. Rita Rani Bala's family is dependent on what her husband earns as a street vendor near Cox & # 39; s Bazar, but since Bangladesh is blocked until May 5, he has no way of working until then.

Although she really wanted hygiene items to protect the family, Rita told Tearfund that she couldn't buy them.

Tearfund's local partner has started distributing hygiene kits in the Rita community to meet needs.

Pleace said it was important to work with faith leaders in responding to Covid-19.

“We know from our experience of the Ebola crisis in West Africa that faith leaders play an important role in delivering public health messages to communities. Therefore, we work with church partners where possible to promote the right messages, to prevent the spread of Coronavirus messages, and to correct all lies and misinformation about the disease, "she said.

"Faith leaders are trustworthy and well-known members of their communities that people naturally turn to for advice, support, and information."

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