The Coronavirus pandemic is pushing vulnerable people already deeply affected by the climate crisis into further uncertainty and poverty. It has exposed and widened existing cracks in our systems and revealed their fragility.
It has also shown how communities come together in care and solidarity.
Our increasingly interconnected world brings many opportunities but also multiple risks and complex challenges. More than ever we need political leaders to work together to protect citizens, encourage community-level resilience and take urgent and drastic measures. We need political action now and before future crises unfold – whether public health emergency or the climate emergency.
Governments must ensure no one is left behind in responding to this crisis. They must implement economic measures immediately and in the coming months to build sustained ecological and social resilience, putting people before profit. These must especially involve women and children, people with disabilities, the elderly and people living in extreme poverty who suffer first and most when catastrophe strikes.
As this coronavirus emergency runs its course, many of those most at risk globally are also those most threatened by the impact of climate change. Climate action must remain high on the political agenda this year as governments prepare to protect and rebuild communities. Social justice, community care, equity and rights must be at the centre of actions to tackle both the public health and climate crises, as we work together to build the societies we deserve.
Islamic Relief is rapidly assembling national field offices and local partners to engage communities in the promotion of good practices and information that will help contain the pandemic. We are working to support and strengthen health systems, provide vulnerable families with emergency food and financial support, and advocating for social protection mechanisms to adapt to the needs of affected people.
As the coronavirus pandemic reaches more communities around the world, many Islamic Relief staff and supporters share the losses, anxieties and uncertainties facing millions of people at this time of crisis. Our thoughts and prayers are with all those confronting this pandemic, and all who are working to limit the spread of the disease.