In the face of COVID-19
With social distancing, national lockdowns and travel restrictions, the world has been significantly impacted by COVID-19, in particular, vulnerable people living in lower-income communities.
As of 30 June 2020, there were over 10 million reported cases of COVID-19, with more than 500,000 deaths and 150,000 new cases added every day, according to the World Health Organisation.
Because of this, many countries have closed schools and businesses, cancelled public events, and have asked or required that people stay at home, leaving only to purchase necessities such as food and medication. These measures come at a great social and economic cost, leaving the world’s most vulnerable populations isolated and at risk as they struggle to stay healthy and meet basic needs.
Sadly, with the uncertainty of income and food and the stresses families are facing during this crisis, children are more vulnerable to violence while simultaneously having less access to support and protection.
To help minimize the negative effects of the pandemic, and make sure children and families remain healthy, educated, and safe, ChildFund’s COVID-19 Response Plan focuses on four key priority areas:
- Stop COVID-19 from infecting children and families.
- Ensure that children get the food they need.
- Keep children safe from violence—physically and emotionally.
- Help children to continue their learning.
Together with the members of our global alliance, ChildFund has been able to respond to this global pandemic by directing nearly $110 million towards relief efforts in more than 60 countries. This includes more than $60 million in new funds raised and nearly $50 million in child sponsorship donations repurposed in the wake of the global health crisis.
“In March, when the pandemic hit, our teams and partners in all of our dedicated communities were able to pivot from programme delivery into COVID-19 prevention and awareness,” ChildFund New Zealand’s CEO Paul Brown says. “Having established, trusted and proven relationships on the ground made the transition possible and then now going forward, we’re able to work with each community to bring COVID-19 measures into all our project delivery and development assistance.”
Here in New Zealand, ChildFund has reached out to more than 4,000 Kiwi supporters by telephone to check in on their health and well-being.
While COVID-19 hasn’t had the impact here at home that has been seen overseas, many people were unprepared for life during lockdown. Some ChildFund supporters were uncomfortable paying bills online and some didn’t have family to talk to.
“Nearly three quarters of our donors have been supporting our work for over two decades,” explains Janet Lambarth, ChildFund New Zealand’s Donor Care Manager. “We are extremely thankful for their support, so when the lockdown happened, we knew it was our opportunity to give back to those who have given so much to us.”
During the lockdown, ChildFund New Zealand’s supporters donated more than $50,000 towards our COVID-19 response, on top of their monthly child sponsorship donations, which have been used to begin implementing our COVID-19 Response Plan.
To date, ChildFund has reached more than 5.6 million children and family members with life-saving COVID-19 support.
To learn more about our response to COVID-19 and ways you can get involved, visit www.childfund.org.nz/covid-19.
This article was written as part of our 2020 Annual Report.
Click here to read the report today!