The COVID-19 pandemic threatens to have a huge impact on people living in fragile economic circumstances and in countries affected by conflict around the world.

To help support these families and communities, Shell has donated $3 million to the COVID-19 Resilience Fund set up by Mercy Corps, a global humanitarian and development organisation working in more than 40 countries.

Mercy Corps is aiming to raise £20 million ($25 million) to help people in areas where there is the greatest need.

The fund will pay for essential aid to help people protect themselves against the virus. This includes providing clean water, reliable information, personal protective equipment and money to buy food. The fund will also help communities recover economically from the pandemic. This is important because many people work in the informal sector which often involves casual jobs offering little security or protection.

 “As our teams are scaling up their work around the world, we are beginning to see the devastating impacts on people living in fragile places, and relying on the informal economy for their livelihoods,” said Simon O’Connell, Executive Director of Mercy Corps.

Mercy Corps is helping people on the front lines of the pandemic in different ways. In Somalia, in the Galbet camp for people displaced by conflict, for example, it is working with the government to give community health workers guidance. This includes stressing the importance of social distancing, washing hands with soap regularly, or cleaning them with sanitisers, and avoiding large gatherings.

In Quetta, in south-west Pakistan, teams from Mercy Corps are publicising messages in local languages about how people can protect themselves from the virus, including on billboards, rickshaws and posters. They are also giving out information about COVID-19 to people in front of mosques and shops.

And in Myanmar’s Rakhine State, Mercy Corps is using an electronic voucher system to help protect people against COVID-19. The vouchers give people access to cash, and Mercy Corps has posted guidance on measures to prevent COVID-19 at sites where the vouchers are distributed. It is also sharing guidance on what to do if someone suspects they are ill with COVID-19 and how to obtain medical care.

“Shell and Mercy Corps have been supporting communities together for many years,” said Ben van Beurden, Chief Executive Officer of Royal Dutch Shell. “This partnership can now help protect some of the world’s most vulnerable people from the impact of COVID-19, both during the immediate crisis and in the longer term.”

Read more about the Mercy Corps COVID-19 Resilience Fund

Read more about our partnership with Mercy Corps

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