We are committed to doing our part to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
As an organization, we fully support the recommendations from Canadian and international health authorities, the Public Health Agency of Canada and the World Health Organization. Following the Government of Ontario’s announcement of the closure of all non-essential workplaces, our office is now fully closed to both staff and the public. World Vision Canada staff are working remotely to ensure that our response to COVID-19, as well as our work around the world, continues.
The safety of our staff and supporters remains our top priority. As a result, we have temporarily suspended door-to-door canvassing, fundraising activities in malls, as well as our artist and church-related events.
Due to our temporary office closure, Gift Catalogue greeting cards, artisan gifts and apparel, and Giving Cards will not be mailed out until our office re-opens. While our office is closed, we recommend selecting the e-card delivery method for greeting cards and Giving Cards.
These are uncertain and unprecedented times, and your ongoing support is invaluable. Thank you for continuing to partner with us as we protect and empower vulnerable children and families around the globe.
World Vision is a key participant in the global response to this crisis. We are active on the ground, drawing on our experience responding to past disease outbreaks like Ebola outbreaks in West Africa (2014) and the DR Congo (2019), and Zika (2016) in Latin America.
During those outbreaks, World Vision worked with local health authorities and our network of more than 220,000 community health workers to provide assessment and health education, combat rumours and misinformation, and help protect children and their families affected by the disease.
We’re now applying our expertise to the COVID-19 pandemic in three ways, depending on local needs:
1. Promoting preventive measures to slow the spread of disease
This is done through encouraging handwashing, sanitation and when appropriate, isolation. We’re also helping to set up public handwashing stations and distributing soap, sanitizer and masks where appropriate.
2. Supporting health systems and workers
We’re providing health centres with medical equipment and personal protective gear, such as masks, gowns and gloves. In addition, community health workers are being trained to assist with home care.
3. Caring for children and families impacted by COVID-19
We’re ensuring schools implement safe operations, helping to run isolation centres and support transportation for those who are sick or in need of supplies. Social workers are available to provide psychological support and care packs for those in isolation.
World Vision is calling on the Government of Canada to be part of a global response that prioritizes countries facing conflict, natural disasters or severe shortages in health care.
Countries with effective health systems are better prepared to monitor, identify and treat those with coronavirus; for example, they typically have around 2-12 hospital beds per 1000 people. However, the poorest countries which face the greatest risk of contagion and infection during a pandemic have as few as one bed per 10,000.
We are also considering the unique impacts that the pandemic could have on the world's most vulnerable children and their families, many of them who are already dealing with complex issues like conflict, drought and disease. Countries already hosting high numbers of displaced people and refugees or where there is a severe lack of doctors, nurses, community health workers and hospitals will need special and urgent assistance. Combined with supporting grassroots prevention programs, we are working to help stop the spread of the virus before it takes hold in the most at-risk communities.
We invite you to join with other Canadians in advocating for those at risk of being pushed further into vulnerability by the spread of COVID-19.
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