What we know about COVID-19 and how Humanity & Inclusion teams are responding

The COVID-19 pandemic has claimed the lives of more than 900,000 people and infected more than 28 million people globally, with numbers still rising. In the United States alone, there are more than 6 million cases cases as of September 10, and more than 190,000 people have died.

Such suffering is layered with job losses, food insecurity, and unrest. The coronavirus has reached all 61 countries where Humanity & Inclusion works—impacting each of our 2.8 million beneficiaries.

Humanity & Inclusion donors have fueled a huge COVID-19 emergency response. As of mid-June, they have launched or adapted more than 170 projects to protect people confronting the virus with too few resources, especially those with conflict at their doorsteps. Awareness and prevention activities are helping people in Algeria, Libya, India, Nepal, Sierra Leone, and other countries to learn the practices, and gather the materials, such as soaps, to keep their families safe. 

Our priority is to make sure that the people we assist every day—people with disabilities or chronic health conditions, people with injuries, refugees, and older people—are not overlooked.

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What is COVID-19?

COVID-19 is an infectious disease caused by a new virus, coronavirus. This new coronavirus first appeared in late 2019 in Wuhan, China, and is called COVID-19. COVID-19 is a contagious virus that causes mild to critical respiratory symptoms with fever, cough, and shortness of breath. It can be transmitted through person-to-person contact, though much remains unknown about how it spreads.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Symptoms of COVID-19 include respiratory illness with fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. In more severe cases, it can cause pneumonia and severe acute respiratory syndrome. At greater risk are people with chronic health conditions and older individuals.

How can I prevent getting COVID-19?

The World Health Organization has the following recommendations for the general public to reduce exposure:

  • Frequently wash your hands by using soap and water (for at least 20 seconds), or else use an alcohol-based hand rub
  • Maintain at least 3 feet distance between yourself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing. Note that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention suggests 6 feet.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
  • Stay home if you feel unwell.

How is Humanity & Inclusion responding to COVID-19?

Our top priority is the health of our staff and beneficiaries. We’re doing everything we can to provide our teams with information on the protection and health measures to take to protect themselves and the community from the virus. Right now, we count more than 170 new projects that aim to protect our beneficiaries and staff from the virus, and to help them during their countries' lock downs. As COVID-19 takes aim at our planet's most vulnerable neighbors, we're ensuring that people with disabilities, people with injuries from conflict, children, women, and especially older people have the information--and even the soap--to stay healthy.

How dangerous is COVID-19 for people with disabilities?

The pandemic is present in all of the countries where we work. The people we assist every day--people with disabilities, people with injuries, refugees and displaced people—have the right to the same protections and precautions. The most vulnerable of the vulnerable, our beneficiaries already experience poverty and exclusion, conflict and disaster. The dire situation may prove disastrous for people living in some countries where we work, and more specifically for the very individuals we assist, some of whom live with underlying health conditions, such as diabetes, or the effects of being older. The goal is to provide them with more support than ever.

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We will do everything we can to protect as many people as possible and help break the spread of COVID-19. We are so grateful to our supporters for standing alongside us as we take on this challenge. But we will need your continued support.

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