Waste collectors are critical in a circular economy, yet are among the most marginalized people. Many are women and children living at the fringes of society, unable to access health care and education. Yet they play a vital role in their communities by removing waste and keeping materials out of the environment. They aren't equipped to be on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. We ask for your help to support their immediate needs while advancing better future conditions.
Densely populated areas, such as slums in India, townships in Africa, and Brazilian communities are greatly impacted by COVID-19, with limited hygiene access to prevent disease. An estimated 15 million waste pickers remove 15-20% of the world's metropolitan waste, a vital service. Without these hard workers, cities would be less healthy and the environment more polluted. We need them. Now they need our support during this crisis with necessities today while improving their lives for the future.
Your donation goes to support this waste collector community around the world through trusted organizations working with them to assess needs. Here are a few examples of where the donations are needed: personal protective equipment, such as masks and gloves; food, due to lost income caused by social distancing measures; Isolation units for those infected with COVID-19; pop-up clinics; and support to build capacity for informal worker organizations, meet advocacy needs, and provide education.
Over the longer term, donations will be used to help these communities build their overall resilience. There are broader needs beyond COVID-19 to improve working conditions, address poor housing situations, and build capacity among workers.