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Extreme poverty, hate crimes and starvation; These people are having to face so much more than the virus right now

Monday 27th April 2020 | Grace

Covid-19 is undoubtedly hitting the world in an intense way, with some countries feeling the impact of it more than others. But as the UK deals with the uncertainly of truth behind the numbers of deaths and plays guessing games with dates, other countries around the world are, sadly, having to deal with a much bigger knock on effect from the virus.

Because of lack of aid, reduction of work and high levels of general unrest, many places are facing the biggest humanitarian crises seen in their lifetime. These are some countries that you may not have realised are facing hardship at an unprecedented level at this time, as well as having to handle quarantine and the high levels of death that has come with the wave of coronavirus.

Yemen

Dealing with a civil war that has existed since 2014, Yemen has spent the past few years trying to handle a conflict that that has caused the death of 100,000 people. It's estimated 85,000 of these deaths are a result of starvation as the government and rebels fight for power, leaving citizens in a state of turmoil.

As the country sinks further into poverty, the first cases of Covid-19 are being reported in the area. Not only is Yemen’s healthcare system quickly crumbling, but rebels control the food, create airstrikes, and are also stopping any aid entering the country, inevitably adding to an already rapidly rising death toll.

Charities like Save The Children are doing what they can to help get people out of dire scenarios at this time.

Venezuela

Political corruption, food shortages and civil unrest is nothing new to this South American nation. But the arrival of coronavirus to Venezuela, a state that already lacks access to food and medical  supplies, has now made it one of the most vulnerable countries in the world.  

A quarantine has been placed on citizens, but many claim it to be unorganised and as a result, has left people without clean water, electricity or gasoline. Archbishop Ulises Gutiérrez of Ciudad Bolívar commented on the situation in Venezuela saying people are having to deal with “a totally destroyed economy in which agricultural producers can’t get their products out because they’re not getting gasoline supplied to them, or they have to buy it on the black market for 2 or 3 dollars a litre.” 

Millions of children have been abandoned during the crisis and, as abortion is illegal in Venezuela, more and more babies are literally being left on the streets and in doorways. What’s more is there is a huge concern that hunger-fuelled protests will lead to further violence across the nation.

Check out Project Hope to see if there is anything you can do to help the situation in Venezuela right now.  

Brazil

It’s well known that Brazil's favelas are areas of high populations and are forced to cope with poverty on a day-to-day basis in general. But the introduction of Covid-19 to Brazil (supposedly brought to the country by wealthy travellers) and its intensely packed favelas is pushing this South American nation into a quickly developing humanitarian crisis. Experts in the country worry that the spread of the virus will soon reflect Ecuador’s handling of Covid-19, where families are having to leave the bodies of loved ones on the street in hot temperatures as hospitals turn people away.

This is because not only is the country’s president downplaying the situation, but many of the residents in favelas lack the means for basic sanitation, leading to higher rates of infection across the country.  Community leader Wallace Pereira has said, “People are getting sick and they have nowhere to go”. Meanwhile, residents who live in the favelas are begging leaders for help as they choose between medical supplies and food.

To see if there is anything you can do to help the situation in Brazil, go Global Giving’s page and check out all the projects they are working on.

Rohingya Muslims in different countries

For over 60 years Rohingya Muslims have faced poverty, discrimination and persecution in various countries around the world. Not only has this group of people faced hatred in the most extreme ways for so long, something which the UN has described as a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing”, but now they having to deal with Covid-19 whilst also fleeing as refugees.

It has been estimated that hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims have been displaced and forced to live in detention camps across Asia, places which have been compared to modern day concentration camps. This is making self-isolation and access to medical care and food impossible. Access to clean water is also limited and it’s also rumoured that the internet and forms of communication have also been shut down in places, making it even harder to get help when needed.

Muslims Hands is a great charity the helps Rohingya Muslims where they can.

Of course, we are all coping with this scenario the best that we can and many of us in the UK are facing economic problems as well as being worried about the health of loved ones. Lots of countries across the world are facing problems right now and if we can all do what we can to help others, it may make this situation just that little bit easier. 

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