The Red Cross is concerned about the consequences of the corona crisis for the two billion day laborers in the world who depend on daily, temporary work for their livelihood. These people are picked up along the road in the morning to work on a banana plantation or in construction, for example, but the corona measures mean that a lot of work is lost or cannot be carried out. As a result, their income disappears immediately and there is usually no social safety net, so tens of millions of people have no way to get food. More than 60% of the world’s workforce depends on daily wages. “The consequences of the crisis are only now becoming really visible to large groups of day laborers, whose jobs are being lost. It is the people who live from day to day, who have to go out every day to get food. They are now permanently losing their often shaky existence certainties, ”asaid Juriaan Lahr, head of International Aid for the Red Cross.
“The impact on everyday people’s everyday lives is enormous. In the city, for example, it is the shoe cleaners, people in the construction industry and the staff in small coffee houses who are hit hard, ” says Marijke Twerda, who has worked for the Red Cross in Ethiopia for six years and looks at the consequences with sad eyes. There are still strict measures in place in this country to combat the corona virus. “In rural areas, corona measures prevent farmers from going to the market to sell their seeds. Here, people do not receive benefits if they lose their job and fall into a deep hole. You now see people who were able to make ends meet desperately in search of work or income. ”
In addition to the new groups of vulnerable people in need of help, the corona crisis has increased poverty, food insecurity and income inequality around the world. The number of people who are starving will increase by 130 million by the end of this year. In countries where conflict rages, millions of people already live with little or no access to health care, food, water and electricity. They also face skyrocketing prices for basic living needs and struggle with destroyed infrastructure. The impact of corona can lead to a vicious circle of loss of income, increasing poverty and hunger. In a survey by the International Red Cross in Nigeria, 95 percent of respondents indicated that their earnings had declined since the outbreak and 83 percent in Iraq. The nearly 80 million refugees worldwide also suffer from the consequences of the corona crisis: they lose their jobs or live in places with many people on top of each other, where the hygienic conditions leave something to be desired anyway.
“The virus makes no distinction and strikes all over the world, but the effects are felt more strongly in the most vulnerable countries. Areas with poor hygiene facilities, hardly any soap or running water and where people have to earn their food together every day. The full extent of the pandemic and its impact will become increasingly visible and we also know that the end of the crisis is far from approaching. This requires an unprecedented effort from everyone: we are doing a sprint and a marathon at the same time, ” Lahr says.
The relief organization worldwide is committed to the fight against the coronavirus and supports the most vulnerable in these difficult times. The Red Cross helps people who have become unemployed through the crisis with food and hygiene packages. Or provide temporary shelter or assistance in quarantine locations, where day laborers sometimes end up on their way back home after losing their jobs in another country or region. From the very first moment the virus emerged, the aid agency has also been focusing on essential hygiene education: from the ‘volunteers on wheels’ in North Korea who went by bicycle to remote areas to inform people about the disease to lessons in hands. Wash. The Red Cross also provides medical assistance and supports hospitals in countries with weakened health care. Aid in the 153 countries where the Red Cross is active requires 2.9 billion euros. At the beginning of the crisis, the Red Cross opened Giro 7244 for aid in the Netherlands and in the world. In the meantime, more than 6.5 million euros has been donated.