Like you, the team here at ShelterBox is concerned about the impact Coronavirus is having on our lives and the world around us.
Current travel restrictions are making our work more challenging, however we are committed to providing vulnerable families with a place to call home throughout this Coronavirus outbreak.
Our partners in Syria, Cameroon, Somaliland and Ethiopia are getting our emergency shelter to people who need it, whilst implementing the social distancing rules.
There is still a massive need for humanitarian support. Coronavirus has made that need even more urgent.
Watch this week's Operations Update on Facebook
Syria - ongoing conflict
With the arrival of COVID-19 in Syria, the need for humanitarian support is greater than ever for families already living in inhumane conditions.
Since December, over 900,000 people have fled the violence in Idlib province. Airstrikes and ground attacks have hounded them into smaller and smaller areas of safety. Even hospitals and displacement camps have been hit.
Together with our trusted partners, ReliefAid, we’re providing families with tarpaulins and rope to reinforce their tents, helping people to keep distance from each other. Mattresses, carpets, thermal blankets and kitchen sets can help to keep families to stay warm and prepare meals – helping them stay as healthy as possible.
We’re also working with Bahar Organization to support families in the north-east with tents and other household items.
INDIA - CYCLONE AMPHAN
In mid-May, Cyclone Amphan tore through coastal regions of Bangladesh and north-east India. It was the strongest tropical cyclone to strike the River Ganges Delta since 1999.
In India alone, 1.7 million homes were destroyed. Families in the states of West Bengal and Odisha were affected the worst.
Emergency shelter is likely to be needed for many months, as people struggle to rebuild lost livelihoods and find reliable food sources.
And with coronavirus cases in India continuing to increase, it has never been more vital for families to have the space to self-isolate and avoid sharing items like cooking sets.
We’re planning to partner with Habitat for Humanity India, looking to support 1,400 families in the Sundarban Islands, one of the areas worst hit by Amphan.
We’re looking to prioritise vulnerable families who need help the most.
The planned aid package includes shelter kits to enable families to repair or replace damaged and destroyed homes.
We’re also planning to send blankets, sleeping mats, mosquito nets, kitchen sets and hygiene kits with soap, buckets and face masks.
These everyday items will help people keep themselves safe from coronavirus and begin to think about the future.
PHILIPPINES - TYPHOON VONGFONG (AMBO)
Category 3 Typhoon Vongfong (local name Ambo) made landfall in May in Eastern Samar, Philippines. Torrential rains brought devastating damage, affecting nearly half a million people.
Together with our partner Terres des Hommes (TdH), we have been providing essential aid to families who have seen their homes destroyed by the powerful typhoon. Distributions of aid are complete, and we’re now moving to the post-distribution monitoring phase (PDM).
Families, some of them staying in evacuation centres or with relatives, have received tarpaulins, rope, and other household aid items. The emergency aid will enable people to rebuild their homes and provide a private space to protect themselves from the threat of coronavirus.
We’re adopting coronavirus mitigations to ensure the safety of everyone involved in the distributions. These include physical distancing, handwashing, and the use of personal protective equipment (PPE).
VANUATU - CYCLONE HAROLD
On April 6, Cyclone Harold made landfall in Vanuatu as a Category 5 cyclone, bringing devastation to communities in the north.
The provinces of Sanma, Malampa, Torba and Penama are most affected.
It is estimated that up to 90% of buildings and houses in Sanma are either damaged or completely destroyed. 160,000 people are thought to be affected.
Through our partner CARE Vanuatu, we are providing tarpaulins and rope, solar lights and kitchen sets.
TANZANIA - Flooding
Torrential rain has caused flash flooding across the south-east regions of Tanzania.
Thousands of families have seen their homes severely damaged or completely washed away.
People have moved to resettlement camps on higher ground and are in urgent need of emergency shelter.
We’ll be supporting families in Tanzania with shelter kits. They will help people to build sturdy homes so they can start to rebuild their lives and recover from this disaster.
The aid will also help families to following social distancing guidelines and protect themselves from coronavirus if needed.
LAKE CHAD BASIN - THE FORGOTTEN CRISIS
Since 2009, Boko Haram has been waging an insurgency in Northern Nigeria. The violence has since spread to the neighbouring regions of Niger, Chad and Cameroon.
Around 10.7 million people in the Lake Chad region are in need of relief assistance. 2.4 million people are estimated to have been displaced and perpetual insecurity continues to drive displacement.
In Nigeria, we have worked our partner ACTED to support internally displaced families.
In Cameroon, we have supported over 7,800 families with tents, shelter kits and other essential aid items. Project 8 is now underway with the support of our partner IEDA Relief.
Due to Coronavirus, we’re working closely with our partners to ensure the safety of affected communities and staff in our work.
ETHIOPIA - CONFLICT AND FLOODING
In Ethiopia, conflict, disease outbreaks, rainfall shortages and flooding, have forced people from their homes.
The UN predicts at least 8 million people will need humanitarian assistance in 2020.
Our latest project has been supporting the coronavirus country response as well as the emergency shelter displacement needs. Distributions of aid, including soap, are now complete, with post-distribution monitoring activities currently taking place.
With the help of our partner, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), we have supported 3,500 families in total since May.
Coronavirus mitigations were put in place for distributions, such as only allowing a maximum of 50 people per distribution, to ensure physical distancing was being followed.
BURKINA FASO - CONFLICT
Burkina Faso is one of the fastest-growing displacement crises in Africa.
Almost 1 million people have been forced to flee their homes due to extremist violence. Efforts by both government forces and local militias to fight it have uprooted even more communities.
Increased violence through 2019 has continued in 2020, and the situation is not getting any better. Some of the families forced to flee are able to stay with relatives or friends, but many more are in crowded camps or buildings such as schools.
The insecurity and instability make it difficult for aid workers to reach some of the people in need, and coronavirus is making the situation even worse.
Despite the many challenges for humanitarian organisations, including travel restrictions, we are working with our new partner Help to support vulnerable communities.
Unfortunately, our initial project has been delayed until August. However, with our aid already being in the country, we have agreed with our partner to redirect the aid to another area, the Centre Nord region, where is it badly needed.
Heavy rain in the Centre-Nord region has triggered floods that have devastated several camps for Internally Displaced People (IDPs). High winds have also caused damage to existing shelters.
Distributions and post-distribution monitoring activities are now complete. We’ve supported families with tarpaulins, kitchen sets, water carriers, sleeping mats, high thermal blankets, mosquito nets and solar lights.