We are living through a very strange and unprecedented time and many of us are struggling. If you’re like me, working from home has been a bit challenging, but you are also grateful for work during a time when so many are losing jobs and income. You are likely missing family, friends, your church community. You do your best to be “socially distant” but not isolate; to manage your stress, anxiety and frustration. Some of you may be on the front lines of this pandemic making sure the rest of us stay fed, healthy, and cared for.

What is amazing about this time is how we are experiencing many of the same anxieties and struggle of much of the world. Most pandemics and epidemics in the recent past have been limited in their geography — Ebola in 2014 primarily affected just three countries. But COVID-19 is truly a global pandemic and shows us how connected we are to the rest of world. What happens in other countries can have a massive impact on us and in our daily lives.

Mounting a global response

As of May 7 (when I’m writing this), confirmed cases of COVID-19 increased 47% in the last week in Africa, according to the World Health Organization. Nearly every corner of the world is struggling to respond to COVID-19, which could devastate already fragile health systems, economies, and food supplies. While the United States is hopefully turning a corner, other countries have yet to see the worst of this pandemic. For countries who have made strides in improving health, education, and reducing poverty, there is potential for progress to be lost. 

The world’s most vulnerable were already hanging on by a thread, and that thread will get cut by COVID-19.

— Edgar Sandoval Sr.

To help respond to COVID-19, World Vision recently announced our largest ever global humanitarian response, seeking to help 72 million people impacted by this pandemic, half of them children. This global response is in addition to a growing response in the U.S. where we are on track to help 650,000 people over the next three months with Family Emergency Kits that include vital food and supplies.

Family receives food kit in Ecuador
World Vision staff delivers food kits and education kits to families in Ecuador. (©2020 World Vision/photo by Chris Huber)

“The world’s most vulnerable were already hanging on by a thread, and that thread will get cut by COVID-19,” says Edgar Sandoval Sr., president of World Vision. “Still, with the help of God, there are things we can do to alleviate their suffering. For the first time in our history, we are implementing an emergency response in every single country we work in, coming alongside the world’s poorest to fight this deadly virus and its impacts.”

The U.S.’s role in the global response

In addition to what World Vision and other nonprofits are doing through funds provided by our generous donors, we are also partnering with the U.S. government to respond to COVID-19. The needs are great around the world, and the U.S. is not doing this alone. From the International Monetary Fund and UNICEF to Canada and the United Kingdom, a massive number of partners are taking steps to respond to COVID-19 in the most vulnerable places. Thankfully, many Americans agree that this is the right thing to do. A recent survey by the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition found that 96% of voters believe it is important for the U.S. to work with other countries to fight diseases that could spread globally. 

World Vision is working with our partners to ask Congress to dedicate more funding to the U.S. response to COVID-19 around the globe. We can, with God’s help, eradicate this virus. It will take time, resources, and prayer. We hope you will join us in this effort. 

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Top photo: Food delivery and hygiene kits in Florida and Copán Ruinas, Honduras, as a response to vulnerable families due to the effects of COVID-19. (©2020 World Vision)

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