How do you stay at home when you don’t have a home?
URGENT - The COVID-19 pandemic has been spreading alarmingly around the world. Everywhere, severe measures are being taken by governments, closing borders, canceling flights, self-isolation and strengthening health systems in order to prevent the spread of the virus. Everyday, we are all committed to battling this invisible threat, but the residents of refugee camps on the Greek Islands do not have the opportunity to protect themselves.
The living conditions in refugee camps were inhumane long before the pandemic started. Due to massive overcrowding, lack of hygienic and sanitary conditions, malnutrition and insufficient medical care, populations living in refugee camps are especially vulnerable to the COVID-19 virus.
In this environment, measures deployed in other countries such as proper hygiene practices and social distancing are completely unfeasible. If and when the virus reaches the camps, the consequences will be catastrophic.
None of the islands, hosting around 42,000 migrants and asylum seekers are prepared for a health crisis on this scale. According to medical organisations working in Moria refugee camp on Lesvos, an outbreak of COVID-19 in the camp could quickly escalate, leading to exponential numbers of infected people within 10 days. If we assume a 3% mortality rate, it is expected that at least 1100 people would die.
The medical NGO Kitrinos Healthcare has already identified around 500 vulnerable cases in Moria camp - 200 of which are among the elder population and 300 with pre-existing medical conditions (hypertension, diabetes, cancer, etc). All of them may come to need different medical care if infected.
On Lesvos, the only hospital has been under severe pressure since the migrant crisis peaked in 2015. Currently there are only 6 Intensive Care Units; the hospital on the island of Samos also has just 6 ICU beds.
This campaign aims to raise funds to both purchase and transport hygiene aid to NGOs working with the refugee camps of Lesvos, Samos and Chios in order to strengthen the response in the face of this pandemic.
By donating to our campaign, you are directly supporting Hope and Aid Direct to purchase and transport items such as:
Soap, Sanitary products,Hand Sanitiser, Medical supplies, Food, Clothes, Nappies and much more.
None of the funds raised will be spent on salaries or admin costs.
More information about Hope and Aid Direct: Founded in 1999, Hope and Aid Direct is a 100% voluntary, humanitarian aid charity whose team members raise their own funds, obtain donations of aid and transport the aid in convoys of lorries twice a year. The team distribute the aid directly into the hands of the people who need it the most where possible, and work with other NGO's on the ground where this is not possible or practical. Those who make donations include the public, churches, clubs, schools and companies.
- George Wigzell
- John Evans