COVID Crisis in West Africa
Despite all the difficulties associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, Green Cross of Ukraine continues its work within the international program of Social and Medical Care (SOCMED) with the support of local partners in Ukraine and financial, coordinating support from GCCH. In this difficult period, we also support the initiatives of our colleagues from the Green Cross Family, which are very important and necessary to prevent the spread of the virus and negative consequences for the population.
In response to the Covid-19 medical and economic crisis and the needs of vulnerable people in West Africa, Green Cross Ghana and volunteers put efforts together to launch a global solidarity campaign dubbed the Serve up Hope Challenge. The project aims to deliver food packages for 40,000 families, namely children and families who are struggling to battle COVID-19 in West African countries, in order to feed 200,000 people in the region. Green Cross Ghana calls on charities and communities to help provide emergency packages of uncooked, nutritional food to families who are most at risk of hunger in Ghana, Burkina Faso and Ivory Coast by donating at www.ServeUpHope.org.
Efforts are now focused on seeking support from individuals, companies, schools, communities and religious groups worldwide to help ensure Green Cross can continue to meet the growing needs in West Africa as the pandemic still negatively impacts the lives and health of both children and adults.The full impact of the worldwide Covid-19 pandemic is yet to be felt in West Africa. However, it is expected that the health care system may not be able to cope with the growing situation.
“Covid-19 and food insecurity is a deadly combination,” warned Famke Janssen, actress, activist, and ambassador for the Serve Up Hope Challenge. “The Exec Dir of the UN World Food Program warns ‘we are not only facing a global health pandemic, but also, a global humanitarian catastrophe.’ But by feeding people, we can restore their strength and dignity. And by empowering people, they can restore their own communities. Our help is needed immediately.”
It is feared that the economic impact of Covid-19 on West Africa will be just as deadly as the virus. It is estimated the pandemic will cost the nations of Sub Saharan Africa between $37 and $79 billion – decimating agricultural productivity, diminishing job prospects and fostering political instability.
“Enduring challenges in Africa such as hundreds of millions living in extreme poverty, the widespread lack of electricity and debilitating gender gaps, render the continent ill-equipped to respond to this growing crisis,” reports Mubarick Masawudu, President of Green Cross Ghana. “The UN warns the Covid-19 pandemic will push an additional 130 million people to the brink of starvation in Africa. We are calling on individuals, companies and groups of compassionate citizens to accept the Serve Up Hope Challenge – by feeding people, we can feed the economy of West African nations struggling to respond to Covid-19.”
Green Cross of Ukraine joins the initiative in the dissemination of information. We really hope that caring people and companies will not remain indifferent and, if possible, they will be able to help needy children and families in West Africa.