When people in Hong Kong think of the pandemic, several terms come to mind: the safety of vaccines, the economic downturn, restricted gatherings and travel bubbles. To religious people, there are the added “religious gatherings”. Such events are undoubtedly the concerns of many of us in Hong Kong. However, for the poor living overseas, their main concern is not contracting the virus, but surviving. The safety of vaccines and travel restrictions are the least of their concerns.
“We are ‘doing gospel’, not only ‘spreading gospel’. Through our witness indeed, more people can receive the bread of life from the Lord through food assistance,” said by the representative of the Church on The Rock Yan Shing Church
(Theit Theit Shwee sewing face masks made by cloth [photo from CEDAR’s partner])
“Kacha…Kacha…” Theit Theit Shwee, a woman from the slum area of Myanmar, sat in front of a sewing machine and sewed the fabric. She carefully wrapped the two white bands and sewed them with the fabric and finished making a three-layer cloth mask. This has been her daily job, making cloth masks with other women in the community center of CEDAR’s partner.
[“SHARE” JUL – SEP 2019 ] LEARN A LITTLE MORE
Written by: Edward Lai
The pandemic makes us realise the importance of having a sound medical system, which does not only require sufficient medical personnel, but also a stable supply of medicine.
Lebanon has been identified as a priority country in the United Nations’ COVID-19 GlobalHumanitarian Response Plan.
As the country that has the highest per capita proportion of refugees in the world, Lebanon has taken in 1.5 million Syrian and 200,000 Palestinian refugees, who currently make up more than 30% of the country population. The exponential growth of refugees in Lebanon has put the already fragile medical system under pressure. The outbreak of COVID-19 further places enormous burden on its medical services, brining them to the verge of collapse.
|The World Health Organisation has warned that COVID-19 may never go away. This means that there may not be an end to the fight against this disease. If that is the case, how can we adapt the strategies of our international poverty relief programmes to make them more effective in helping the destitute? Do we need to change the economic development pattern which has long been taken as “normal”? As part of the Christian community, how should we continue to care for the poor and defend their dignity?|
Medical workers treated the sick after putting on their personal protective equipment (Photo from CEDAR’s partner)
“For poor places, [the spread of COVID-19] implies calamity.”
‘The Next Calamity’, The Economist, 28th March
Globalisation has made it impossible for any one country to avoid the risk of being affected by contagious diseases. When there is a pandemic, developed countries can still make use of their resources to procure pandemic prevention materials. They can also utilise their financial reserves to mitigate the impacts of the pandemic on their medical systems and economies.
For many poor and densely populated developing countries, their medical systems were already vulnerable even before the pandemic and there had always been a lack of social welfare. When this pandemic of the century strikes, its impact on societies and people’s livelihoods are disastrous, as noted by the Economist.
The reality is that the first sign of disaster has already appeared.