CARE is quickly mounting a global response to the COVID-19 pandemic - which threatens to overwhelm healthcare resources, particularly in countries with weak public health infrastructures. For decades CARE has worked in places where healthcare systems are weak and long-lasting food supplies have been wiped out by disaster. Our immediate efforts focus on three areas: setting up isolation spaces in refugee camps, preparing home-quarantine kits, and pre-positioning emergency supplies.
CARE places a special focus on women and girls, who often face specific challenges during emergencies. Based on CARE's past experience, we can anticipate disproportionate economic and social effects on women and girls. We are preparing accordingly to support women in dealing with the fallout of a devastating pandemic.
CARE benefits from strong relationships with national and local authorities in the 100 countries where we work, longstanding community links, and decades of experience in health interventions. Our response to the Ebola virus epidemic, among others, serves as a model for how CARE supports community preparedness and prevention during serious public health emergencies.
CARE is working to strengthen the policies and practices we implement in all of our emergency response work. This includes our focus on protection for vulnerable populations, including women and girls, given the elevated risk of sexual and gender-based violence during emergencies. Additionally, the emotional toll of a global health crisis cannot be underestimated, and CARE will work to bolster the availability of resources, such as psychological first aid, for vulnerable populations.