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Help protect people vulnerable to the effects of COVID-19 in the US and around the globe.

The latest on Oxfam’s global COVID-19 response

By Oxfam
Mary Munatsi, a resident of the suburbs of Harare in Zimbabwe, washes her hands at a water distribution point supported by Oxfam to help fight the spread of COVID-19. Photo: Tavonga Chikwaya/Oxfam in Zimbabwe

Across nearly 50 countries, Oxfam is preventing the spread of the disease and saving lives—one community at a time.

Did you know that half a billion people could be pushed into poverty by the coronavirus crisis? It’s a staggering prospect as millions–from grocery and poultry workers to farmers and refugees—struggle to stay healthy and survive.

That’s why Oxfam is working with people like you to try to reach more than 14 million people in need. Our teams in about 50 countries—experts in water, sanitation, hygiene services, food security, women’s issues, and more—are providing lifesaving supplies and collaborating with different communities in local languages and following local customs. It’s all part of our approach to identify sustainable solutions in partnership with a vast network of local organizations that know their communities best.

In the US, Oxfam is supporting immigrants, low-wage workers, and the undocumented in Mississippi, Louisiana, North Carolina, Puerto Rico, and Appalachia. But we’re also calling on Congress to make immediate, large-scale investments that benefit working families struggling to make ends meet—not big corporations and wealthy shareholders.

Read below what Oxfam is doing to respond to this crisis—and how you can help.

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A woman in Bangladesh receives a hygiene kit from Oxfam partner JAGO NARI. The kits include 10 bars of soap, a kilo of detergent, 8 reusable sanitary pads, 50 disposable masks, information, and a bucket with lid and tap for washing hands. Photo: Duke Ivn Amin/Oxfam partner JAGO NARI

Providing essential aid and information for the most vulnerable to prevent the spread of COVID-19

During public health crises, it is critical that people in communities have access to the right information and are involved in decisions that affect their lives. That’s why we are adapting our response under travel and other restrictions to share information through call centers, Whatsapp messages, social media, radio jingles, music videos, careful home visits, and more.

Oxfam staff and partners are also increasing the delivery of soap, clean water, food, and sanitation services through locally led responses, including building and upgrading hand-washing facilities with a special focus on people in higher-risk areas and at health facilities. Wherever possible, we’re also continuing our distribution of cash and vouchers so families can get what they need most and support local markets.

  • Across Latin America and the Caribbean, a lack of access to clean drinking water is putting urban and rural communities at risk. In El Salvador, for example, Oxfam and our partner PROVIDA are installing safe water tanks and distributing hygiene kits and sanitation information in villages battered by drought. Oxfam is also supporting a call center through PROVIDA to receive community requests for safe water through phone calls and text messaging.
  • Across East and Central Africa, there are more than 10,000 confirmed cases of the coronavirus—a significant jump since March. In western Ethiopia, for example, Oxfam’s partners are making it easier for refugees to wash their hands in camps across the Gambella district while increasing water capacity through the installation of emergency surface water treatment plants. One plant installed earlier this month now produces upwards of 245,000 gallons of clean water a day.
  • Across parts of Asia, Oxfam is working with local community health workers and volunteers to raise awareness about strategies to prevent the spread of COVID-19. In Timor-Leste, for example, Oxfam and its partners are collaborating with CARE, Caritas Australia, Plan, and World Vision to reach more than 230,000 people across 98 villages with public health information and hand-washing stations.

Read more about our full response here.

Supporting immigrants, low-wage workers, and the undocumented in the US

In the US, Oxfam has extensive experience advocating with vulnerable communities and working on partner-led responses after Hurricane Katrina and in Puerto Rico. Immigrants, low-wage workers, and the undocumented are essential to our economy and our food supply, and our partners are leading the way in advocating for their welfare and rights.

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For years, Oxfam has been working with a broad coalition of activists, workers, and experts, including rallies at processing plants across the country. Photo: Mary Babic/Oxfam America

That’s why Oxfam is making grants to local organizations in the Deep South, Puerto Rico, and Appalachia to respond to this crisis. This includes direct cash assistance for day laborers and low-wage workers through the National Day Laborer Organizing Network in Los Angeles; funds to help collect and share accurate information to communities (including translations in Spanish and Vietnamese) about the virus in Louisiana through the Power Coalition; as well as support for the Western North Carolina Workers Center to pressure companies that are still operational to promote safe workplace practices.

We are also advocating on behalf of grocery store workers as part of Oxfam’s Behind the Barcodes campaign and poultry workers as essential frontline workers that ensure we have food on the table.

How you can help slow the spread of COVID-19

COVID-19 is a powerful reminder that we all deserve to be treated equally and with dignity and compassion. We must work together, in our communities and across borders.

Your donation today can help slow the spread of COVID-19. Our teams are on the ground now, and are scaling up this work globally and in the US with the support of people like you.

Donate now

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