Cordaid has been providing relief in the world’s biggest humanitarian crises for over a hundred years. Right now, we are dealing with a crisis that affects us all. The consequences of the rapid spread of the coronavirus are becoming more apparent day by day. We are doing everything we can to respond appropriately to ensure the health and safety of the people we work for and our employees worldwide as much as possible.
This crisis connects us, because wherever you live, we all have to face it. But people in the world’s most fragile areas, where Cordaid is most active, are at risk of being hit even harder by the pandemic.
The crisis also shows: health risks know no borders. That is why this situation requires an international, well-coordinated approach, in which adequate resources for strengthening health care systems, disease prevention and the availability of sufficient equipment and personnel are vital.
Help prevent further spreading where possible
Our experience with previous virus outbreaks allows us to continue our healthcare programs in countries such as the Democratic Republic of the Congo, South Sudan and the Central African Republic, with an increased emphasis on helping prevent corona infections. In general, however, Cordaid’s approach will continue to be aimed at permanently strengthening the entire health system in a country. We must not lose sight of this during this time of crisis.
We also have to deal with the travel restrictions that currently apply. This will sometimes make it more challenging to provide the necessary support on location. Fortunately, we have hundreds of people working in the countries, with roots in the community, who are able to continue to use their knowledge and experience for the people who need it most.
Health is priority number 1
The health and safety of the people we work for and our staff are undoubtedly priority number 1. Only then can we be there for people who need our support most, especially now. Cordaid has formed a team of experts to monitor the situation closely and take appropriate action as the crisis develops.
We must continue to carry out our work and provide emergency assistance to affected people. Our staff has also taken action to organise practical and logistical matters.
We also make use of the situation to adapt and improve our programs to these developments. We are confident that our approach of results-based financing to strengthen health care systems and our humanitarian responses will be well-suited to deal with this crisis on the ground.
Impact on our organization
More consequences will become clear over the coming weeks, but in the short term our international staff will not be able to travel and everyone who works in the Netherlands will have to work from home.
Everyone at Cordaid is very committed to ensuring that the limitations and challenges this entails do not have too much of an impact on the performance of our work. We want to go the extra mile to help people affected by this crisis.
We help fight corona
Apart from health care system strengthening, good hygiene has always played a major role in our emergency and health care programmes. We provide sanitation and water facilities where people can wash their hands and we provide vital hygiene education. These regular activities will play an even bigger role in our work the coming weeks, and maybe even months.
Looking after each other, always, but especially now
Cordaid believes in the importance of looking after each other. That you are there for the ones who are close to you, but also for people in difficulty who happen to live further away. A crisis like this shows how important that is. We can overcome this challenge together, as long as we are there for each other.
Keep an eye on our website and follow us on social media for more news about the consequences of the corona crisis on our work and on the people we work with.