This issue of our newsletter highlights what many of our recommended nonprofits are doing to respond to COVID-19. Please read carefully below about ways that our recommended nonprofits are being impacted and are responding. As Evidence Action’s CEO Kanika Bahl says, “The downstream effects of COVID-19 are enormous.”
COVID-19 is dominating most governments’, organizations’, businesses’, families’, and individuals’ lives. The Life You Can Save is being asked why, as an organization, we are not formally advocating donating money to groups and individuals in the developed world dealing directly with the medical and financial consequences of the virus. Our answer lies, in part, in the staggering statistics that our recommended nonprofits are dealing with every day in the developing world:
15,000 deaths of children under 5 years old each day—5.3 million per year—more than half of which are preventable
435,000 malaria deaths alone per year
2.1 billion people without access to safe drinking water (29% of the world’s population)
734 million people living in extreme poverty (on less than the equivalent of US$1.90 per day)
These facts, among others, are what have led us to exclusive and continuous support for our recommended nonprofits even in the face of this disaster. COVID-19 is bringing the insecurity and fear to the developed world that are endemic to people living in extreme poverty.
As I write this, the virus is overwhelming medical facilities and personnel in New York City. This is also true of cities in northern Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom. I can only imagine how the medical communities will fare in Mumbai, Nairobi, and Lagos as the virus makes its way to those cities.
One thing is clear—people grappling with extreme poverty live in areas where medical personnel and facilities to care for those who contract COVID-19 are nonexistent or inadequate. Many of these people live in extremely densely populated areas (e.g. slums in India, townships in South Africa, refugee camps globally) where inadequate sanitation will add to the spread and devastation of the contagion.
Let’s remember that “social distancing” means physical distancing, not social or emotional isolation. Let’s stay connected to one another in whatever ways we can without being physically close.