We haven’t seen the last of COVID-19 yet, but we are already seeing the scars that it has begun to leave behind. The pandemic turned many of our lives upside down, but how has it changed the world and what does long-term recovery look like for affected communities?
3 Ways COVID-19 is Changing the World
1. The Poor are Poorer
Time and time again, we have witnessed the devastating effects of a crisis on those living in poverty. COVID-19’s unique global reach has led to the first significant increase in the number of people living in extreme poverty that we’ve seen in 20 years!
The World Bank estimates that an additional 119-124 million people plunged into extreme poverty compared to pre-pandemic rates.
This overwhelming number is due to a number of factors. Many income earners passed away due to COVID-19, and many more who fell ill but survived are still suffering lingering health issues that have kept them from working. Others lost work due to the effects of the pandemic and lockdown conditions around the world. Even those blessed with emergency savings have struggled to make those savings last through the length of the pandemic.
This is why the next stage of ADRA’s COVID-19 work is focused on recovery and supporting families with what they need right now. In some places, we are helping communities have access and accurate information for the COVID-19 vaccine for those interested. In other places, we are helping people find new ways to earn an income if their previous employment is no longer possible. People will find their way back to resilience, and we want to help them get there!
2. Children are Forever Changed
While they generally face a lower risk of contracting COVID-19 than adults, children are likely to be the biggest victims of the virus.
Poverty and crisis increase every risk that children face and make them more vulnerable to becoming victims of violence, trafficking, child labor, sexual crimes, child marriage, and more. Experts also fear that we won’t know the full mental health impact of this pandemic on children, even those who are safe from the worst threats, for years to come.
As difficult as it has been for families trying to support their children with classes over Zoom, an estimated 463 million kids didn’t even have the opportunity for remote schooling. That’s 1 in 3 schoolchildren worldwide who have missed out on their education altogether!
As UNICEF reports: “Even short disruptions in children’s schooling can have long-lasting negative impacts due to factors including the lack of structured programmes for catching up. In the past, school closures have led to an increase in child marriage and child labor, which often prevent children from continuing their education.”
ADRA’s work to support children is ongoing, including finding ways for them to access their education in the shadow of this global pandemic.
3. The Next Pandemic is Already Underway
The COVID-19 pandemic helped to escalate the number of people going hungry, with around 130 million facing starvation worldwide in what is now a full scale Global Hunger Pandemic.
Fighting hunger is always a priority for ADRA, and thanks to supporters like you, our work is expanding and we are working harder than ever to meet the growing needs of families and communities being affected by this devastating global hunger pandemic.
3 Ways You Can Help
1. Stay Informed
Let’s be clear, this crisis is ongoing. Information is changing regularly and guidelines are being updated frequently, so be sure to stay up to date with the latest information from trustworthy organizations and medical experts.
2. Continue to Act Responsibly
While many of us live in places that are experiencing lower case counts and relaxed restrictions, no one is completely in the clear yet. This doesn’t mean we need to panic or return to lockdown conditions, but we do need to stay smart. Continue those good hygiene habits like washing your hands regularly and using hand sanitizer, follow the latest official guidance on travel and large gatherings, and get a COVID-19 vaccine now that they are widely available. And remember to be respectful of those who may be at higher risk than you know or just feel more comfortable playing it safe.
3. Support ADRA’s Global Response (and make it a match!)
Our $1=$3 match to help in COVID-19 recovery around the world is going strong, thanks to generous partners, and every donation supports people, families, and communities as they recover and find resilience again. Make your contribution now at ADRA.org/GlobalPandemic.