The whole world is suffering from the COVID-19 crisis and the lockdowns put in place have had a very negative impact on those most in need in Southeast Asia. These measures have eliminated the work opportunities for day labourers, farmers… effectively cutting off all sources of income for a great number of families. This results in many families struggling to feed themselves.
Our local managers in the field have been assessing the needs of the families of the children we sponsor in the light of the COVID-19 pandemic and resultant lockdown. The pandemic is already having numerous adverse effects, of which increases in the prices of raw materials, like rice and in unemployment are the most significant.
Thanks to our network of local managers, we remain hard at work at a time when the need for our support is greater than ever, as it is the most vulnerable individuals who are hardest hit by the pandemic. This is most marked in Myanmar, Vietnam, Thailand and Cambodia, where managers advise that there is a pressing need for more food.
Some of the families we support struggle even in normal times to put enough food on the table for a single meal a day; their current situation is aggravated by the increases in domestic violence and in community tensions provoked by the lockdown and resulting shortages. In order to defuse tension and to help the children that we sponsor we are launching this temporary programme of food aid to supplement the monthly sponsorship already in place, to help families who have been identified to be most in need of extra support.
Children of the Mekong distributes to 10,000 families enough to last between 3 and 8 weeks depending on their needs: rice, oils, hygiene products… With £45, we can feed a family of 4 people for 1 month (the purchase of 85 kg of rice).
Our principles of assistance in the field:
- 1 for 10: focus on the children sponsored by Children of the Mekong. If a family of a sponsored child is affected, we offer our help. There is a possibility of helping other families if a reliable local leader comes to us.
- No duplication: assess the needs and check if they are other local support in place
- Towards sustainability: identify how to move this aid towards child sponsorship.
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