Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe respiratory diseases.
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) is a new strain that was discovered in 2019 and has not been previously identified in humans. Common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties.
COVID-19 knows no borders. It is a global pandemic and our shared humanity demands a global response.
We must come together. Only a global response will stop the spread of the virus everywhere.
THE IMPACT ON CHILDREN
The virus is already having devastating consequences for children and their rights.
Health systems across the world are being overwhelmed. Economies are sliding towards depression. Millions of children have had their education disrupted. Many face the prospect of poverty as loved ones fall ill, or can’t work. They will be confused and frightened.
Failure to contain the virus will tear apart the lives of millions of families and children across the world. With the pandemic now spreading into some of the world’s poorest countries, there is a real danger that the world will see a reversal of the gains made over the last 20 years and destruction of the rights of children.
COVID-19 will be devastating for children living in fragile places like conflict zones, refugee camps, and urban slums. As with any time of crisis, women and girls are likely to be disproportionately affected.
Vulnerable children and their families cannot be forgotten as the world battles to contain the outbreak of coronavirus.
If we work together, we can beat it.
All over the world, Save the Children is responding to the crisis.
Our teams are rapidly adapting existing work whilst preparing for outbreaks of coronavirus in countries with weakened health systems, fragile contexts or a limited capacity to respond due to other ongoing crises, such as conflict or natural disasters.
This is just a small portion of the actions our teams are taking to support the world’s most vulnerable children:
Globally, we are calling on community, national and global leaders to take action on five fronts. In particular, we must exploit the closing window of opportunity in Africa, Latin America, the Pacific, and other areas not yet hard hit. This is a time for leadership and collaboration by governments, financial institutions, private companies and organisations like Save the Children.
In South Africa we have launched the #SavewithStoriesSA campaign, which is aimed at raising funds for children affected by COVID-19. The campaign was initially launched in America by Save the Children US Trustee Jennifer Garner and now sees much-loved SA celebrities read out loud stories for all children across the country. The concept is to read children’s books for children, and watch your favourite celebrities read children’s books.
Donations received through this appeal will help Save the Children South Africa make sure that vulnerable children have the support that they need. This will also support our important work to meet the health, education and nutrition needs of children across the country.