In just a few weeks our world has been turned upside down. The Covid-19 virus has spread around the planet extremely quickly.
What will happen if this infection rate continues in countries which are less able to contain it?
In countries like Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria where Un Ponte Per (UPP) implements projects, healthcare infrastructure is fragile or non-existent, inaccessible for many because it is managed by private companies or in ruins after years of conflict. In addition, camps for refugees and IDPs, it is impossible to respect social distancing rules camps for refugees and IDPs, meaning that a rapid spread of the epidemic would be inevitable.
Millions of lives are at risk. Prevention is the only possible cure. We have to take immediate action to prevent the spread of the virus. We need your support.
Un Ponte Per is adapting existing projects and launching new ones with the goal of containing the virus amongst our most vulnerable beneficiary communities.
Right now, the protection of the most at risk people through prevention is our main objective.
In Syria alone, more than half the hospitals were destroyed during 9 years of war (according to WHO, 84 were bombed since December). There are only 157 available ventilators in the whole country. We view this health crisis as a challenge but also as an opportunity: our shared goal is to tackle both.
“These days political issues must be considered globally,” says Fabio Alberti, one of the founders of Un Ponte Per. “And this will derive from profound changes not only within the political institutions as we know them, not just in the way we lead our lives, but also in our ways of thinking. And how we think about them.”
Contribute to our intervention and help our men and women field-workers who are currently dedicated to the distribution of hygiene kits, medical know-how and PPE to as many people as possible.
Even though Northeastern Syria has been in lockdown since 13th March, our clinics are open for business. They are receiving fewer patients because people are so frightened of risking infection. The most worrying situation is the camps, where overcrowding could trigger a very fast spread of the virus. We are preparing 3 dedicated Covid wards in 3 hospitals, to provide a total of 18 intensive care beds, 42 sub-intensive care beds and a triage system handled by specially-trained medical teams.
In Iraq we launched a prevention awareness campaign as soon as the Covid emergency began, in order to help contain the spread of the disease. We have already met with 2,800 families in 39 villages in Nimrod, Bashiqa and Tilkaif. Our staff went from house to house delivering information posters and brochures and explaining how to deal with the situation. We are also testing ways to use IT to reach people living in more remote areas, such as webinars and online courses in prevention for doctors and nurses.
In Jordan, one of the first countries to adopt stringent measures to contain the virus, we are planning financial support projects for families without regular employment who are now living in poverty because of the lockdown. Our staff will make a one-off financial contribution, known as cash for protection, to the most vulnerable families, to women victims of violence, female single parents and families including disabled people.
In Lebanon we are supporting the work of our local partner by distributing hygiene kits and monthly food baskets - each worth 36 Euro - to Palestinian refugee families living in the camps. Here in Jordan, which declared bankruptcy in early March, the virus has further highlighted its healthcare system’s complete lack of funding and adequate infrastructure. The camps were already extremely overcrowded and so unsanitary that they are on the brink of disaster.
We know that the virus does not respect borders and that already vulnerable communities are the most at risk of infection. Which is why Un Ponte Per has decided to donate any remaining funds from this campaign to charities in Italy who work with the homeless, seasonal workers who gather in the southern countryside, migrants and asylum-seekers living in temporary settlements and all of the most vulnerable people in this country.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
Un Ponte Per is working to contain the spread of the virus in situations where people are fragile and vulnerable. We strive to provide information and protection kits for people who are already living in challenging conditions due to poverty and war and who are the most vulnerable to the most violent impact of this health crisis.
Donate now to help us continue our work and prevent the further spread of the virus.
We are all waves on the same ocean and, in the words of Fabio Alberti “it will take more than a pandemic to convince us that there are no nations. But we could start thinking that way”.