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.
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The conflict in northern Mozambique is driving one of the world’s fastest-growing displacement crises. The number of people uprooted from their homes increased by nearly 650% in 2020.
Since October 2017, an Islamic extremist group has been launching violent attacks on civilians in the northern province of Cabo Delgado. The continued violence has caused a lot of displacement and insecurity in the area.
In March, more than 80,000 people (figure as of June 2021) had to leave their homes behind when the town of Palma came under violent attack. The situation has been described as chaotic. Every day, more people arrive in neighbouring districts on foot, by boat, or bus, to escape the violence.
Over 700,000 people have been forced out of their homes in the region, and the shelter need is huge.
We are exploring how we can support vulnerable communities affected by this conflict.
But coronavirus restrictions are making it complicated.
With help from in-country partners, we are looking to provide shelter kits, thermal blankets, solar lights, kitchen sets, sleeping mats, and mosquito nets to families who are in desperate need of emergency shelter.
Syria - ongoing conflict
In Syria where coronavirus is at emergency levels, the need for humanitarian support is greater than ever.
Together with our trusted partners, ReliefAid, we have recently provided families in Idlib 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 have also provided soap and clothing sets.
We have also worked with Bahar Organization to support families in the north-east with tents as well as packed boxes.
We’ve also been working to support families who have been affected by flooding in Idlib. Aid distributions are now complete.
HONDURAS - HURRICANE ETA AND IOTA
Hurricanes Eta and Iota devastated parts of Central America last November.
Heavy rains and resulting flooding and landslides destroyed homes during a time when families needed shelter the most to protect themselves from coronavirus.
We are working in partnership with Habitat for Humanity Honduras and the Rotary Club of San Pedro Sula, to support families with shelter kits, mosquito nets, kitchen sets, blankets, water carriers and water filters, solar lights, and other essential items.
Aid distributions and post-distribution monitoring are now complete.
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 been working with our partner ACTED to support nearly 2,000 internally displaced families with shelter kits. Distributions are now complete and we’re currently planning for our next project.
In Cameroon, we have supported nearly 15,000 families since 2015. In 2020, we worked with our partner IEDA Relief to provide families with tents, shelter kits and other essential aid items. Right now, we’re working on a new project with IEDA Relief to support even more refugees and internally displaced people (IDPs) in the country. We are providing tents, shelter kits, rope and tarpaulins, and other essential household items.
Due to coronavirus, we have been working closely with our partners to ensure the safety of affected communities and staff in our work.
ETHIOPIA - CONFLICT
In early November 2020, escalating tension between Ethiopia’s federal government and the regional leadership in Tigray erupted into armed conflict.
Formal military operations ceased when the Tigrayan capital of Mekelle was captured by government forces at the end of November 2020.
But millions of people remain at risk from food shortages, inadequate shelter and continued insecurity.
On top of this, families are also facing the constant threat of coronavirus.
Working with our partner IOM, we’re supporting people who’ve fled their homes within Tigray with emergency shelter, household essentials and hygiene items. We’re providing tarpaulins, rope, blankets, sleeping mats, mosquito nets, water carriers, carry sacks and kitchen sets.
We’re also providing washbasins, soap, and water jugs, to help prevent a devastating outbreak of coronavirus.
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, we have been working with our partner HELP to support vulnerable communities.
Together with our partner, we’ve supported over 1,900 families in the Centre Nord region since 2020.
Right now, we’re working again with HELP to support more people with tarpaulins, kitchen sets, sleeping mats, blankets, and other essential items, including soap and buckets.
Our aid is currently making its way to the country.