Tackling COVID-19 from Mozambique to Myanmar and Melanesia
Engaging in COVID-19 awareness and COVID-19 economic relief is not always easy anywhere in the world. Anglicare PNG staff recalled one COVID-19 awareness session in West New Britain Province: “A mother approached us with a bush knife thinking we brought in vaccines to forcefully vaccinate the students in the school”. The Anglican Church of Sri Lanka noted that, during relief distributions in some rural communities, staff found, “no one was wearing any mask or maintaining social distancing”.
Despite the challenges, over the whole of 2021, Anglicans in Development (AID)’s partners in Myanmar, Sri Lanka, and Kenya distributed relief to those affected economically by COVID-19. Through AID’s regional partner CAPA (Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa), further relief was provided in Cameroon, Guinea, Mozambique, South Africa, Ethiopia, Kenya, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
In the most recent financial year, more than 5,000 people received basic food staples and non-food items, or cash vouchers. More than 13,000 people received hygiene and personal protective supplies such as soap, face masks and sanitary towels. AID’s partner in Myanmar even provided emergency oxygen cylinders and oxygen concentrate. Since July 2021, AID’s church partners have assisted even more people. This has included our support for an ecumenical network, ACT Alliance, to provide relief in India and support for members of the Anglican Mothers Union in Papua New Guinea to make and distribute face masks.
Our partners also conducted COVID-19 awareness-raising. Across Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, the Philippines, Myanmar, Kenya and Zambia, more than 48,000 people attended such sessions, learning about the role of hygiene, social distancing and mask-wearing to stop the spread of COVID. In Vanuatu and Papua New Guinea, our partners were supported by the Australian Government (through our CAN DO consortium and through the PNG CPP Program) not only to conduct awareness-raising but also to install water tanks in many of the communities that they visited, giving many more people access to handwashing.
In Papua New Guinea, the Anglican Church and Anglicare PNG mobilised senior clergy to make videos about COVID-19 and lead community dialogues to talk about the role of vaccines.
In many countries, the COVID-19 death rate has begun to plateau or decline. However, there remains the constant threat of new surges in cases, especially as new variants appear.
The struggle against COVID-19 around the world is far from over, and we will need your support for our COVID-19 appeal well into the future.