Since I last reached out to you, the days have been moving at a breakneck pace. As the coronavirus crisis accelerates, I’d like to update you on MADRE’s emergency response, all the more urgent as the virus spreads to the countries and marginalized communities of our partners worldwide.
The grassroots leaders we work with are experts at meeting basic needs and organizing their communities. They know how to act quickly and channel resources to those who are most vulnerable, including elders and people with chronic health conditions.
When cholera struck Haiti, our partners distributed hygiene kits with soaps and disinfectants. When Ebola gripped the Democratic Republic of Congo, our partners mobilized a campaign to share life-saving, practical information on how to stay safe. What’s more, in places like Iraq and Nicaragua, our partners run local radio stations -- essential to reach people in remote communities with critical information and support.
Right now, we have a vital window of opportunity to act -- before the number of cases in our partners’ communities spikes. We must move fast.
Here are two examples of our immediate action.
- We’re funding an urgent mobilization by the Palestinian Medical Relief Society to prevent and prepare for the spread of the virus in the West Bank and Gaza. They operate mobile clinics to educate people on prevention and have set up emergency medical sites in refugee camps, where cramped living conditions put people especially at risk. And they’re delivering food, medicines, soaps, sanitizers, and other basics to 420 families already quarantined to help ensure that communities stay safe.
- Just days ago, the World Health Organization announced that the last Ebola patient in the Democratic Republic of Congo had been discharged. Now they’ve discovered their first case of coronavirus. Our partners at SOFEPADI, a network of women activists, were essential community first-responders confronting Ebola, and they’re ready to put that hard-won wisdom into practice to fight this new danger. For instance, with MADRE support, they’re launching radio broadcasts in local languages to educate people about how to protect themselves from coronavirus -- an especially crucial step for reaching remote communities and refugee camps.
In this critical moment, I am grateful for the ongoing generosity of MADRE supporters. Please help us once again, by making a gift to our Emergency and Disaster Relief Fund. By doing so, you will ensure that MADRE can respond quickly and effectively and sustain communities worldwide for the long road ahead.
This crisis ties us all together. As we act at home to keep our loved ones and communities safe, we expand that circle of care by providing much-needed funding to our partners. We must learn from and lean on one another -- locally and globally.
Thank you for your generosity in this crucial moment.