COVID-19 is affecting us all, but it will devastate vulnerable communities. Families living in poverty without savings, healthcare and a reliable income will be most affected. Many are without access to soap, clean water or health knowledge – the basics needed to stop the spread of the virus. Even in developed countries, healthcare systems are under enormous pressure – those in developing countries will likely collapse.
Families living in poverty without savings, healthcare and a reliable income will be most affected by COVID-19.
As governments introduce lockdowns, many people are unable to work. For families living in poverty—many of whom already rely on intermittent work—this could mean months without a sole income source. With little savings to fall back on, they will struggle to feed their children.
In times of crisis, women and girls are especially vulnerable. Women are more likely to care for sick family members or their children in the face of school closures. This puts them at higher risk of exposure to the virus and will reduce time spent working outside of the home.
A girl is taught how to wash her hands by a Community Health Leader, Uttar Pradesh, India. © Matthew Smeal
In India, the COVID-19 lockdown for 1.3 billion people posed a very different situation than lockdown in Australia. Food insecurity, minimal healthcare and extensive poverty has put the country under pressure. Jessica Carter, Opportunity International Australia’s Asia Health Program Director—based in Hyderabad, India—explains.
How is Opportunity International Australia helping?
We currently provide 6.6 million small loans to families throughout Asia – 95 per cent of them are to women. Many were already living a day-to-day existence. Now they need our help more than ever.
We are responding by providing:
- community health leader training on COVID-19 prevention and identification.
- essential items to families in need, including food, soap and other sanitary products.
- small loans to help families sustain their livelihoods and rebuild their lives following the crisis.
Please help families living in poverty survive this crisis
COVID-19 WEBINAR SERIES
HEALTH, HANDWASHING AND LIFE IN INDIA
In the first of our COVID-19 webinar series, Jessica Carter, Opportunity’s Asia Health Program Director, shares what life is like in India under the threat of COVID-19 and how our Community Health Leader program is educating vulnerable communities.
THE IMPACT ON COMMUNITIES LIVING IN POVERTY
In this webinar Simon Lynch, our Community Development and Indonesia Director, and Zesly Pah, CEO of our program partner TLM, share what life is like for families living in poverty in Indonesia during COVID-19 and how Opportunity is responding.
A LIFE IN FOCUS IN A TIME OF PANDEMIC
In our final webinar Mark Daniels, our Asia Programs Director, discusses the future of microfinance in the light of COVID-19.
VOICES FROM THE FIELD
Ashila Diza Rahmadini from Opportunity’s Indonesian program partner speaks about the devastation of COVID-19 for families living in Indonesia.
Archana Brian, Head of Operations at Opportunity’s program partner My Choices Foundation, speaks about the impact of COVID-19 on women and girls in India.