As the novel coronavirus continues to spread, our staff are providing emergency protective supplies to families and health workers in affected areas in 18 countries including the United States. When a crisis strikes, World Vision is there. We respond immediately with life-saving help and supplies to support families as they recover and rebuild.
COVID-19 is a contagious virus that causes mild to severe respiratory symptoms with fever, cough, and shortness of breath. First identified in Wuhan, China on Dec. 31, 2019, the virus has infected more than 200,000 people (as of March 15). With the unprecedented rapid spread of COVID-19 in the U.S. and across the globe, World Vision is responding both domestically and abroad in 18 countries.
With feet on the ground around the globe and strategically located supply centers, World Vision is in a strong position to respond quickly and efficiently. We're focused on basic, high-impact interventions: Promoting preventative measures to stop or slow the spread of COVID-19, supporting health systems and workers, and supporting children made vulnerable by COVID-19.
In the United States our warehouses across the country are collecting emergency protective supplies -- including bars of soap, disinfecting wipes, and face masks -- for immediate distribution to over 900,000 people. We also are partnering with local partners to distribute food to low-income children and families. Internationally we are currently prioritizing 18 countries based on current health systems, existing child sponsorship operations, and our existing in-country capacity to respond.