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Coronavirus Pandemic: Save the Children launches global response

We are living through extraordinary times.

In the space of a few short months the Coronavirus pandemic has spread to almost every country in the world, bringing grief, suffering, and economic chaos in its wake.

In the UK our National Health Service, and everyone working in it, has come under enormous pressure. Recession and the lockdown have hurt many of our country’s poorest families, left children out of school, and disrupted lives.

The pandemic now threatens to bring devastation to the world’s poorest countries. Already weak health systems could be rapidly overwhelmed. As economic pressures mount, there is now a real and present danger that millions of children could be thrown into poverty, robbed of their education, and subjected to devastating new health threats.

We are confronted by a virus that knows no borders, and by a pandemic that must be beaten everywhere if it is to be beaten anywhere.

Save the Children has a long and proud history of responding to humanitarian emergencies. But the Coronavirus pandemic confronts us, as it confronts the world, with the greatest humanitarian challenge of our generation.

We are already responding to that challenge – but we need to do more, and we need your help.

Today, our movement is launching its biggest ever appeal – a $100m (£81.3m) #ProtectaGeneration fighting fund – to respond to the pandemic at home and across the world’s poorest countries. You can donate here.

Here in the UK we are providing support to vulnerable families struggling to cope with economic hardship and school closures. We have created an emergency grants programme that I hope you might consider contributing to.

Our programme staff are already responding to Covid-19 in over 100 countries. Our immediate concern is to strengthen the front-line defences against the pandemic. That means training and supporting the community health workers needed to provide families with information, as well as diagnose and refer Covid-19 cases. We are currently working with over 500,000 community health workers in 44 countries to deliver essential health services. Building on this infrastructure, we plan to train and equip an additional 100,000 over the next six months.

But this is a crisis that goes beyond health systems. Across our programmes the poorest families have been hit first and hardest by the economic crisis and lockdowns that have come with the Coronavirus. There is a desperate need to provide safety nets that can protect children from rising poverty, hunger and sickness; and to keep learning alive during school lockdowns.

Save the Children has extensive experience in operating safety nets, supporting nutrition programmes, and education. We are doing everything in our power to make a difference. But we must do more – and with your help we can.

Our organisation was founded 100 years ago by two extraordinary women who fought for child rights. They believed that, even in the most trying of times, compassion knew no bounds and recognised no borders.

Today, as we respond to a disease that knows no borders, I hope you will support our appeal and join our movement in fighting a battle we can – and will – win here in the UK and the world’s poorest countries.

100 years of supporting children

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