Like you, the team here at ShelterBox are 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 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.
Vanuatu - Cyclone Harold
On April 6, Cyclone Harold made landfall in Vanuatu as a Category 5 cyclone, bringing devastation to communities in the north.
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.
Communications are still down in most areas and, coupled with the remote nature of many communities, the full extent of the damage or casualties is still unclear.
Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, access to the country is extremely difficult right now.
Despite the challenges, we are currently working to find local partners who will help us get much-needed aid to families who are the most vulnerable.
PHILIPPINES - TAAL VOLCANO
In January 2020, the Taal Volcano erupted in the Philippines.
Now, more than four months later, many people have not been able to return home. There are still around 2,000 families living with host families.
As concerns around coronavirus grow, these families are living in cramped conditions and are unable to take precautions like social distancing.
Working with YKBI, we are hoping to provide essential items that will allow host families to extend the footprint of their homes, providing more space for social distancing. We’re also speaking to our local Rotary contacts to see how they can support our response.
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 are 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 DISPLACEMENT
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.
With the help of our partner, the International Organization for Migration (IOM), we have supported over 4,500 families in total since late 2018.
Due to the spread of Coronavirus, the Ethiopian government has closed its borders. However, we anticipate that our aid will still be imported and we are closely monitoring the situation in case restrictions on internal movement are introduced.
Somaliland - Drought
Severe drought in Somaliland has affected an estimated 766,000 people since November 2016.
Over the last three years, the drought has killed up to 80% of the region’s livestock. This has had a devastating effect for thousands of families who rely on livestock farming, forcing them to flee their homes in search of better grazing land.
We are working with ActionAid, our partners on the ground, on Project 5. We’re providing tarpaulins, rope, kitchen sets, and other essential aid items to 1,800 internally displaced families living in camps.
Distribution of essential aid is now complete, and post-distribution monitoring (PDM) activities are currently being planned. PDM will aim to gather learnings from the communities that have received our aid, and it will be conducted remotely, via the phone.
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.
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 organizations, including travel restrictions, we are working with our new partner HELP to support the most vulnerable communities.
This new project will support families with emergency shelter and household items in three regions in northern Burkina Faso that have been badly affected by violence.
SYRIAN REGION - ONGOING CONFLICT
The conflict in the Syrian Region is entering its eighth year. What started out as a peaceful protest in 2011 has since become a brutal and complex civil war. In January alone, 270,000 people were displaced.
We’re working with our partners, Hand in Hand for Syria, ReliefAid and Bahar Organisation, to help those affected.
So far, in 2018 we have helped nearly 2,000 families by providing tents, tarpaulins, water carriers and solar lights.
In total, we have helped 45,000 families who have been displaced by the war in the Syrian Region.