ATLANTA (March 11, 2020) — CARE is deeply concerned by the continuing global spread of the novel coronavirus and the resulting COVID-19 disease. CARE is committed to working closely with health officials in the countries and regions where the organization is operational to ensure the safety and security of CARE staff and programs.
“CARE is undergoing a contingency planning process that will position us to respond rapidly as needed in the countries where we work,” said Michelle Nunn, President & CEO of CARE. “At this time we’re focusing our programming to raise awareness of good hygiene practices to help avoid the spread of infection, to train health faculty staff, to provide necessary health supplies to clinics, to provide referrals for treatment and to support fragile public health systems. We are also conducting a gender analysis in key countries affected by the pandemic to better understand how women and girls are affected by this crisis.”
The current outbreak of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) was first reported from Wuhan, China on December 31st and has now affected over 100,000 people in 113 countries, causing more than 4,000 deaths. Symptoms include fever, a dry cough, fatigue, and difficulty breathing.
“CARE is already working day-to-day in places where healthcare systems are weak and long-lasting food supplies have been wiped out by disaster and conflict. We’re ready to support communities affected by this pandemic,” said Sheba Crocker, Vice President for Humanitarian Policy and Practice at CARE. “As COVID-19 spreads, it is more evident than ever that there are far too many vulnerable people and too few resources for vulnerable communities. We also see how pandemics disproportionally affect women and girls. There’s no question that women will be on the frontlines of the response to COVID-19, increasing their risk of contracting the virus. We want to be sure their needs are met as this crisis unfolds.”
CARE calls on all countries to help in a large scale global response to:
- develop contingency plans for mitigating transmission,
- increase resources for diagnostic capacity,
- focus on protecting healthcare workers’ safety while providing financial support to local health centers,
- expand production and distribution of personal protective equipment and critical medical supplies,
- communicate with the public openly and regularly,
- invest in research on innovative technologies and general preparedness
- collaborate with the international community and private organizations to address urgent vulnerabilities in the developing world and support coordinated international action.
To help support the global response effort CARE has launched an immediate appeal to build our Humanitarian Surge Fund allowing us to respond rapidly to the most vulnerable populations at greatest risk from this global pandemic.
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