Christian Aid Week

Coronavirus – The Global Impact

Considering those for whom ‘staying at home’ may mean starvation!

  1. Coronavirus knows no borders and is having a growing impact globally with more than 3.5 million people infected and 250,000 having died. Statistics point to the worst effects being felt in Europe and North America, but it is the poorest countries that are most vulnerable in this pandemic and the outcome could be catastrophic within a matter of months if action is not taken now. 

  1. Well before anyone has died of this illness, the economic impact in developing countries is proving to be devastating. Take parts of Southern Africa, already in the grip of severe drought due to the climate crisis such that people are finding their livelihoods wiped out. Add to this a lockdown, whereby many, such as daily wage earners and migrant workers, find that staying at home may lead to starvation, not to mention the street children with no-one left on the streets to beg from. Then, consider those localities where Coronavirus does take hold. In the developing world, governments with limited infrastructure and weak healthcare systems are struggling to prevent the spread of the virus, whether in cities or rural areas, never mind the cramped conditions of refugee camps.   
  1. Considering the growing global prevalence of Coronavirus and the crucial need for a timely response to prevent its further spread amongst the poorest communities in the world, PCI’s Global Mission Standing Committee has approved the release of £60,000 (€68,118) towards the emergency response of PCI’s relief and development partners, Christian Aid and Tearfund, and to partner churches and organisations. These partners are working on the ground in the worst-affected regions and are well-placed to work with governments and church leaders to ensure health messages on hand-washing and physical distancing are accepted in local communities, as well as working on strengthening the capacity of health facilities. Ultimately, they are striving to ensure the most vulnerable can be spared the great hardship and grief that this pandemic is bringing.  
  1. Seeking to be sensitive to the significant economic challenges being faced here at home during this crisis, it has been decided that a Moderator’s Appeal in respect of the COVID-19 pandemic is not being launched at this time, but this will be given further consideration later in the year. If, however, anyone would like to give more immediately, please do so, as you feel led and are able, through the Coronavirus Emergency Appeals of PCI’s relief and development partners’ by going to their websites: www.christianaid.ie or www.tearfund.org Please also be encouraged to pray for our partners, for all those with whom they are working on the ground, and upon whom COVID-19 is impacting most severely, beyond the shores of Ireland. To facilitate this ongoing prayerful support, both Christian Aid and Tearfund have made available a useful range of resources, including recorded talks, prayers and much more, that are designed to be shared online with congregations. 
  1. Please note also that for the first time in its history, Christian Aid Week is being taken online, with a good range of resources available on the Christian Aid website to enable congregations to hold their own Virtual Christian Aid services and other events. (See the letter from Christian Aid attached).