Our work is reliant on a global network of experts, partners, consultants and donors. We work with private businesses, local authorities and national governments to get things done and ultimately, to change lives.
Coronavirus has made our powerful network of expertise even more vital. Sharing knowledge between our country offices in Asia, Africa and Latin America means we can work together to fight the challenges the pandemic brings.
The challenges are a little different in each country we work in, but our aims are the same. We’re working to limit the spread of the virus, helping communities keep essential systems running and supporting longer-term recovery.
Food supplies at risk
Our team in Nepal have told us that food supply chains are at risk because of the closed border between Nepal and India. With supplies of basics, such as rice and lentils, running low, it’s feared that prices of these foods will rise, putting them of reach for some.
There have been challenges for our project teams in Nepal too. Our work to support dairy farmers in isolated areas has become difficult as demand has suffered. We’re supporting people to keep livelihoods going and helping farmers and distributors keep in business while following social distancing rules.
Social distancing in the slums
In Bangladesh, our teams have reported the difficulty being experienced by families living in the city slums. The overcrowded conditions and necessity to work every day in order to buy food make social distancing impossible.
Farmers in rural areas of Bangladesh are struggling to harvest their crops because of a shortage of labour. Demand has also dropped away, in part because the big food companies aren’t buying as much stock. When the inevitable shortage and price increases strike, it will once again be the poorest who will suffer most.
Power during the pandemic
Before coronavirus hit Sudan, the country was already suffering from an economic crisis that had led to queues for essentials such as bread and fuel.
In Kassala, in Eastern Sudan, we’re supporting the Ministry of Health to promote the importance of frequent hand washing to prevent catching coronavirus. We’ve also been distributing essential supplies of soap to villages in the region.
Malawi was one of the last countries in the world to announce its first case of Covid-19. Since then, the High Court has taken the unprecedented step of blocking the government’s plans to impose a lockdown until more has been done to help those worst affected. It’s a step that shows just how vulnerable some communities are in a country where only around one in ten households has electricity.
Farmers in Zimbabwe are struggling to get hold of seeds as many of the big seed companies have stopped selling. It highlights the importance of strengthening local seed markets and sharing knowledge around seed banks and seed storage.
A history of resilience
There are over 20,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus in Peru and it’s spreading to poorer areas. We’re working with those effected to keep systems running and get hold of vital supplies.
In Bolivia, our team is co-leading work to spread information about coronavirus to isolated rural communities. This includes translating updates into local languages and using webinars to share advice on issues such as food security.
Work like this is only possible because of your support. Thank you for being part of the Practical Action family. We’re very proud to have you with us as we work hard to reduce the impact of coronavirus on vulnerable communities around the world.