By Revd Dave Stedman, CEO

     

Coronavirus is both close to home and far away – but the poorer the nation the greater the risk.

As we immerse ourselves in hand sanitiser, stockpile loo roll and bulk purchase ventilators the plight of our friends in Africa is largely unreported. Ironically, for many in the developing world living with poor sanitation and no toilet paper is normal and, as for ventilators, there are just 20 in the whole of Burundi – that’s 1:480,000…

Despite limited testing there are now more than 250 confirmed cases of Covid-19 across APF’s area of operation. This will increase. Fast. Governments are attempting to encourage social distancing but in a highly social culture, without a developed infrastructure and the economic safety nets we enjoy, this will be almost impossible to maintain.

Lockdown legislation is leading to heavy-handed policing to reduce crowds, water shortages due to hand-washing, medicine in short supply, inflation and increasingly, hunger, as large numbers of people who live hand to mouth are quarantined at home. These messages from South Sudan, Malawi, Uganda and Kenya paint a grim picture. Lord, have mercy …

Of course, we have very real and present concerns of our own here at home, but we fear for our friends far away. If you could, a little can go a long way to help hard-working but vulnerable people stay home and save lives in Africa.

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