Latin America & The Caribbean
Latin America & The Caribbean
Episcopal Relief & Development is supporting partners in Latin America & the Caribbean in response to the COVID-19 Pandemic.
Episcopal Relief & Development is supporting partners in Latin America & the Caribbean as they provide food, hygiene and cleaning kits and other emergency assistance to vulnerable communities that have been impacted.
Servicio Anglicano de Diacono e Desenvolvimento (SADD), the development arm of the Episcopal Anglican Church of Brazil, is providing food, hygiene and cleaning supplies to women, adolescents and children, particularly those in vulnerable communities such as those without homes, domestic violence survivors and other low-income communities. SADD is also distributing PPE such as face masks and lab coats to healthcare workers.
SADD is also responding to provide support to indigenous communities in the Ribeira Valley that have been particularly vulnerable due to isolation from medical services. Additionally, tourism and trade were main sources of income for the communities, both of which have been impacted. Leveraging its ASA (Water, Soap, Love) volunteers, SADD is distributing PPE, medicine and cleaning supplies. The organization is also supporting the cultivation of sustainable vegetable gardens and livestock such as chickens.
With Episcopal Relief & Development’s support, the Episcopal Anglican Church is providing essential assistance to marginalized groups in response to COVID-19. Colombians are only allowed to leave their homes for food and medical supplies and one hour of exercise per day. This shutdown has particularly impacted the elderly and informal gig workers who make up 40-60% of the population. The Church has transformed St. Paul’s Cathedral and Church of the Divine Savior, both in Bogotá, into distribution centers where food, personal protective equipment (PPE) and other medical supplies can be distributed to groups who have been impacted by the national shutdowns and resulting loss of income.
Additionally, Interfaith Rainforest Initiative (IRI), in partnership with Episcopal Relief & Development, is providing emergency assistance to indigenous communities. Many of these communities have been particularly hard-hit by COVID-19 infections and lack access to medical care. IRI is distributing non-perishable food items and hygiene kits of soap, cleaning alcohol, toothpaste and antibacterial hand gel to over 500 men and women.
In addition to the COVID-19 pandemic and associated economic shutdowns, the Dominican Republic has also experienced devestating hurricanes and flooding this fall. In response, the Episcopal Diocese of the Dominican Republic is distributing food, face masks, and pastoral and emotional support to 2,800 people who have been impacted. This assistance particularly targets vulnerable groups such as the elderly, children, pregnant women and people in situations of conflict or violence.
The Episcopal Diocese of Ecuador Litoral is responding to the pandemic by distributing food and medical supplies to the elderly, single women and children in highly impacted areas of coastal Ecuador. Additionally, the diocese is supporting 200 families who have lost their jobs and livelihoods due to the government imposed shut-downs. Diocesan staff is providing food and other emergency supplies to these highly vulnerable groups.
Episcopal Relief & Development is supporting the Episcopal Diocese of El Salvador to provide support to people who were impacted by both emergencies such as Tropical Storms Amanda and Cristobal and COVID-19. The Diocese of El Salvador will support 1,000 families with baskets of food such as beans, rice, sugar, oil and milk. These families include people who lost their crops, animals or houses during Tropical Storms Amanda and Cristobal, individuals with chronic diseases who are being cared for by the diocese’ health outreach program, children under five years old, pregnant women, single parents and others affected by COVID-19 and the events. The diocese is also providing personal protective items like face masks and alcohol-based hand sanitizers. Community promoters and volunteers have been given gloves and infrared thermometers to help protect them and reduce the spread of the coronavirus.
Episcopal Relief and Development, in partnership with the Episcopal Church in Guatemala, is working to identify and support approximately 654 families who have been significantly impacted by COVID-19. The Church is purchasing, packaging and distributing food, such as beans, sugar, pasta, rice and flour. Additional sanitation materials also being distributed include cleaning alcohol and antibacterial hand gel.
Episcopal Relief & Development is working with the Episcopal Diocese of Haiti and the Ministry of Health to raise awareness about the novel coronavirus and ways to reduce its spread. The diocese is also providing personal protective equipment (PPE) to four communities in Port-au-Prince that have been particularly devastated by COVID-19.
The Episcopal Diocese of Honduras, with the support of Episcopal Relief & Development, is providing emergency assistance to families who are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic and the economic recession the pandemic has caused. Many Hondurans rely on money sent from family members in the United States and Spain who have similarly lost their sources of income due to stay at home orders. The diocese is distributing food such as corn, beans and rice to families who have been particularly impacted by the coronavirus.
The pandemic has expanded in Honduras, increasing from 5,000 positive COVID-19 cases in mid-June to 69,000 positive cases in September. This has increased both the risk of exposure to the coronavirus and the indirect consequences of government shutdowns which have created more challenges for marginalized populations. The diocese is leveraging existing Savings with Education groups to respond with additional food and hygiene supplies. Leaders are also teaching community members to make cloth face masks to reduce the spread of the virus.
The Council of Protestant Churches of Nicaragua (CEPAD) is leveraging their existing relationships in 40 remote and underserved communities to respond to COVID-19. CEPAD is producing weekly radio programs and promotional clips to educate communities about prevention and response efforts. The council is also providing pastoral and psychological care to vulnerable populations through phone calls and physically-distanced home visits. CEPAD is distributing health and hygiene kits, water filters and seed packets to physically support these communities. To keep staff and community members safe, CEPAD has educated staff during virtual workshops about the WHO and Ministry of Health’s COVID-19 safety guidelines and has instituted appropriate physical distancing protocols.
The Episcopal Church of Panama is supplying food baskets and other emergency assistance to families who have been particularly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic in northern and central Panama. Staff and volunteers have implemented appropriate social distancing protocols to reduce the potential spread of the virus while distributing the food baskets, which include dry food, milk, soap and detergent.