Raising children is always challenging. This year, many parents are carrying an unprecedented burden as the pandemic continues to cause worries. However, if we look for the positives out of this situation, we may realise that this extensive housebound time may turn out to be an unforgettable and invaluable lesson for our children in their lives.
It is true that children are relatively less likely to get infected by COVID-19. However, in some developing countries, the impact on children may not have fully surfaced yet. Apart from the threat on their lives, children may also suffer physically and emotionally, as well as becoming even more vulnerable to poverty, hunger and diseases if their families’ livelihoods are affected.
In East Africa, where the poor have barely recovered from last year’s drought and floods, locusts have arrived and destroyed their crops. Now, they are hit by an unforeseeable pandemic. As public hygiene and sanitation facilities in the region are far less desirable than in developed countries, and information not always available, many were terrified to hear about the pandemic. Worse off farmers were unable to sell their crops for a living as travel bans and cargo restrictions were imposed. The World Food Programme has highlighted that over half of the 135 million people exposed to a food crisis last year were in Africa, and warns that this figure could rise to 265 million.
World Vision is carrying out relief responses in various countries across East and Southern Africa. We provide necessities such as food and clean water to those in need, while also focusing on the nutrition and protection of children, pregnant and lactating mothers. At the same time, we are responding to the needs arising from COVID-19 in over 70 countries, such as Kenya, the DRC, Afghanistan, Bangladesh (including Rohingya refugees). We hope that these interventions will bring help and hope to the vulnerable children and families affected by the pandemic and food crisis.
Bless and be blessed!
Acting Chief Executive Officer