Over the past few months, the world has been deeply affected by COVID-19. Not only has the pandemic disrupted our daily lives, it also brought along other consequences that are potentially even more harmful than the disease itself.
The Double Threat of Hunger and Disease
The common policies of lockdowns and social distancing may have helped slow down the spread of the disease, but they have also devastated the livelihoods of refugees. Being unemployed and poor, families are unable to afford the rise in food prices and in turn face hunger and malnutrition. Health systems are on the brink of collapse, making people more vulnerable to other diseases. Having been confined at home for an extended period of time, people have also become anxious and distressed. This means it is more likely for them to vent their frustrations on children and cases of domestic violence to increase. According to statistics, there has been an average increase of 32% in calls to SOS hotlines for domestic violence globally during the past few months when most parts of the world were in lockdown.
The war in Syria has been going on for years. For 15-year-old Fadi, this has forced him to flee his home and cost him his right arm in an airstrike. He desperately needs an artificial limb, but with COVID-19 quickly spreading, his family has been dealing with greater hardships, even simply having enough to eat has now become a problem.