There’s virtually no country on Earth that hasn’t been affected by the COVID-19 outbreak. It’s a crisis that has put the ultimate pressure on every nation’s medical and economic systems. In a matter of months, we saw that even the most industrialized countries of the world fell ill to a virus which spread unchallenged by their advanced health systems and preparation.
If there’s one thing this should tell us, it’s that if this can happen to the most powerful nations in the world, this crisis will certainly take the hardest toll on communities who were struggling before the outbreak even took place. Among those that this pandemic is expected to have the greatest impact are the asylum seekers and refugees who have been displaced all over the world.
Cathryn S. of Colorado Springs, Colorado is choosing to share her stimulus with Books Unbound, a nonprofit that’s responding to the needs created by COVID-19 and bringing food to struggling refugees in Bangladesh —“One of the ways I intend to share is with an international refugee organization working with the Rohingya refugees and currently providing food for families in quarantine in refugee camps through the Bihari Project. Nine dollars supports one family for 2 weeks!”
She shared, “Like so often, it seems that those who are disenfranchised and marginalized in our culture and in the global cultures suffer the most during times of crisis such as the one we are experiencing. Perhaps they feel forgotten, muted and invisible. And maybe this feeling is not new. Maybe it is one they are all too familiar with.”
The coronavirus is an enemy that knows no borders and for millions of refugees around the world, the fight for survival continues — even from the safety of asylum.
Part of what makes refugees so vulnerable during this time is the lack of resources that they have available to their communities. Paired with extreme levels of poverty, many refugee camps in the United States are located in fairly remote locations that don’t have access to the healthcare required in events like the pandemic we’re facing today.
The living conditions of most of these communities is also very poor, including such extreme population densities that it becomes nearly impossible to stop a virus from spreading once there’s been exposure. The average population density across New York City is about 10,000 people per square kilometer. In contrast, in some refugee communities around the world the average density can be between 70,000 and 200,000 people per square kilometer.
Death rates have already proven to be higher than the average community as many refugees have underlying health conditions that make them particularly susceptible to contracting and dying from the coronavirus. All these factors combined make refugees one of the most at-risk and vulnerable groups of people in the world.
Alongside fighting the xenophobia that’s developing in our country as a result of this epidemic, we can help protect and advocate for these populations by redirecting our stimulus money to organizations who are making an impact in this field.
Cathryn was moved to give not only to meet the physical needs of refugees, but also as a way of showing support to this often forgotten population in the midst of this challenging situation — “Perhaps kind acts of moving toward each other, such as Share the Stimulus, will ignite hope and revive resilience for those in the midst of desperate circumstances.”
If you’ve received a stimulus check and you’re in a place to give during this time, we’d ask that you’d consider giving to one of the following organizations who are helping protect refugees in the midst of this pandemic!
Join the movement today and pledge to share your stimulus with those who are hurting the most.