Our COVID-19 response

  • Date: 24/03/2020
  • Author: Julianne Flynn

Photo caption: Tom Saater/ActionAid

ActionAid stands in solidarity with all those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. We recognise the difficulties that the COVID-19 pandemic presents to our supporters and people everywhere, especially those already vulnerable or marginalised. We are taking all necessary measures to protect the health and safety of our staff while ensuring our vital work with women and children can continue.

How is ActionAid responding?

We are working as hard as ever to continue our programmes and adopting to the changing needs where possible.

We know the fuller impact of COVID-19 will soon be felt in African countries, who are without many of the health services and social protection governmental supports we are depending on so much right now. The impact on them will be devastating and ActionAid is mobilised across the world to help offset that devastation.

It’s more important than ever that we support those who are most vulnerable.

Building on the deep roots we have in communities who will be affected by this crisis, and the experience and lessons from our response to the Ebola crisis in West Africa, we will be working over the months ahead to lessen the spread and reduce the impact of the disease.

ActionAid Nepal has disseminated an awareness raising video and our local staff around the world are busy adopting to the changing crisis. We will keep you informed of our response as this crisis unfolds. We are confident that by working together, in our communities and across borders we can overcome the difficulties ahead.

What will be the impact on women and children?

When a crisis hits, it is women and children living in poverty who suffer the most. They will also be at the forefront of fighting this crisis.

Two-thirds of health sector jobs globally are held by women. Usually in precarious work conditions, like front line nurses and carers. First to be laid off, now first to battle COVID-19 – either underpaid at work or unpaid at home.  

In developing countries more than two thirds women work in the informal economy, without sick leave and unemployment benefits. If they don’t work, they and their families don’t eat.  

School closure means women are caring for children at home. Mothers are prevented from working, or responsibility falls to grandmothers, already a high-risk group. 

Most domestic workers are migrant and undocumented women, without sick leave, unemployment benefits or access to health services. Yet they are at the front lines of providing care to families worldwide.  

Girls are often responsible for walking increasingly long distances to collect any water available. Worldwide, 780 million people don’t have access to clean water. 

Without their basic needs met, they won’t be able to protect themselves or their communities from coronavirus. 

Will this affect the child I sponsor?

We’re working hard to ensure your Child Sponsorship remains uninterrupted. However, we wish to flag that there may be delays in receiving and sending child messages in the coming months. This is in consideration of everyone’s health and safety, especially the children.

Can I still contact you if your teams are working from home? 

Absolutely – we love to hear from our supporters. You can call us on (01) 878 7911 (between 9:00-17:00, Monday to Friday) and by email anytime info@actionaid.ie . We would not be able to continue without your ongoing support and for that, we are truly grateful.  

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