Coronavirus (COVID-19) impact on World Vision operations in China
The coronavirus (now named COVID-19 by the World Health Organization) is a respiratory illness that appears to be spread by person-to-person contact. It was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China in late December 2019. The epidemic has since spread to other parts of China and the world and killed over 1,800 people, mostly in China. However, while the number of confirmed infections continues to rise, the rate of growth is slowing.
World Vision Canada is currently providing financial assistance to World Vision China in response to the coronavirus epidemic.
World Vision China operates in five communities located in affected areas of the country, but to date the communities themselves report no infections. No sponsored children or World Vision staff have been infected. However, because of the rapid spread of the epidemic, the outbreak is beginning to impact those communities, particularly in terms of a shortage of medical supplies.
UPDATE: Some World Vision activities have been temporarily suspended. These include:
• Sponsor Correspondence
• Sponsor Queries
• Gift Notifications
• Sponsor Visits
• Sponsored children and their families are being monitored for signs of coronavirus infection
• Special situation updates for sponsored children will continue but reporting times may be longer than usual
World Vision China has a created a dedicated Coronavirus Response Team to monitor the situation and plan further response.
The immediate response consists of:
- meeting the shortage of medical supplies (N95 respirators, infrared thermometers, medical protective clothing, etc.);
- and equipping local governments, health departments and hospitals in project locations to increase their capacity to detect and treat cases, as well as improve public education and awareness.
Additionally, World Vision staff are monitoring sponsored children, including via WeChat and phone calls, when staff is unable to visit the communities in person.
For more information, please call us at 1-800-654-2650.
China has benefitted from a rapidly growing economy but child poverty in China remains a persistent issue, especially in rural areas. World Vision invests in child development through education and health support and supporting small scale infrastructure projects in water and sanitation systems.
Child rights and protection is another priority. Parents are learning about raising their children in safe and nurturing environments, and children and youth are participating in local decisions that affect their lives. We’ve also launched programs to care for children left behind when their parents migrate to cities to find jobs—a common practice in rural areas where work is scarce.