The spread of the coronavirus pandemic has coincided with the confirmation of the increasing deterioration of climate data. Droughts, heat waves and violent phenomena are the source of famines, increase poverty and threaten to cause more damage than coronavirus in the long term. Both the health and climate crises, albeit with different time scales, are universal and require immediate action.
Women, who often suffer from exploitation, violence and neglect, play the most committed role in any crisis. Nowadays, those who suffer the lack of access to water and sanitation are also the most affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. The SDG 5 is in serious danger and we cannot tolerate this. No solution is possible without women being at the center of the response.
Covid -19 has shot to pieces all aid programs against global childhood malnutrition. The situation of extreme vulnerability in which millions of children in the poorest regions have been left is a collateral emergency to that of the virus which has already turned into a terrible humanitarian crisis. The difficulty of access to safe water, hygiene and sanitation always goes hand in hand with abandoned and malnourished children. The international reaction has already started and aid projects are greatly increasing. Together we will succeed.
What is the ideal location to build a latrine? How should it be ventilated? How to make it easy for children to use it? And what about the use by women? Which materials should be used? The answers vary depending on the culture, climate and training of users. These are factors that define the sustainability of sanitation where it is most needed: in the fight against open defecation. The Foundation’s expertise will be a guideline in Burkina Faso.
The Covid-19 pandemic has arrived in the Sahel amidst a humanitarian upheaval. The immediate threat of hunger, the lack of water and sanitation, epidemics and migrations coexist with the terrorist violence that is causing the vast African territory also known as the “hunger belt” to bleed out. It is a region where any emergency is added to others that the international community cannot tolerate.
The remote island of Nias accumulates the endemic disasters of Indonesia: earthquakes, tsunamis, lack of access to water and sanitation, malaria and dengue fever epidemics, and now Covid-19. A new project of the Foundation focuses on rural areas in one of the countries in the Pacific Ring of Fire most threatened by seismic disasters, climate change, diseases and the economic crisis. Indonesians are fighting on all fronts for survival.
The outbreak of Covid-19 has reminded us that pandemics are also natural disasters, although much more threatening. They are universal, affecting all human activities everywhere and individual human behavior plays a decisive role in their spread. The humanitarian and economic crises they cause must make us more aware than ever of the need to invest in their prevention.
Refugees are some of the most vulnerable people in the world. Covid-19 has worsened their situation and added uncertainty to their future. At the height of the health crisis, those displaced by floods, droughts and pests are added to those fleeing violence and wars that have not diminished during the pandemic. Many of these conflicts seem to have been temporarily forgotten. It is time to remember them.
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