A Crisis Within a Crisis – Aid for Refugees during Corona

This photo shows an elderly Nigerian man sitting on his haunches, with a staff member next to him, who is carrying a registration board and writing something on it.

64-year-old Mall Koni Hoki (right) together with GAMMUN staff during registration. He is an internal refugee in Nigeria and also has a visual impairment.
© GAMMUN/Abdullahi

CBM is distributing food parcels and hygiene kits to internally displaced persons with disabilities in Nigeria.

Mall Koni Hoki is particularly hard hit by the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic. The 64-year-old lives as an internal refugee in the Nigerian state of Borno. The Boko Haram terrorist militia has been carrying out repeated attacks and atrocities against the civilian population since 2009. The result: poverty, debris, death – and people who have lost everything. The number of internally displaced persons has risen to more than three million people at times. Now with the pandemic, Nigeria ranks third on the African continent when it comes to the number of active coronavirus cases. Additionally, the refugee crisis in this west African country is one of the ten most neglected refugee crises in the world. Above all, this means negligible international aid for those affected.

Social distancing – a privilege not many can afford

As in many countries around the world, there has been a lockdown in Nigeria: schools are closed, travel is limited to the transport of food and industrial goods, people are obliged to observe social distancing. Not an easy task for displaced people like Mall Koni Hoki. A small makeshift shelter is not suitable for prolonged living, and those who have no money to stock up on enough food are driven outside by intense hunger.

To make matters even more difficult, Mall Koni Hoki lives with a visual impairment and is heavily supported by others. Along with our local partner GAMMUN, our project is aimed primarily at people with disabilities, the elderly, vulnerable children and widowers with large families, whose husbands and sons fell victim to terror.

Mall Koni Hoki along with 4,000 other refugees is receiving food packages and hygiene kits through our project partner in northern Nigeria. Over time, essential food items such as 50 kilos of rice, seven kilos of beans, two litres of oil, pasta, soup cubes, curry and tomato paste will be distributed to those affected. Protection from COVID-19 is provided with our hygiene kits including disposable gloves and masks. This aid is financed by CBM with funds from our own Corona Response Fund.

Thanks to our donors, we have been able to increase the fund from one million euros to a total of three million. This will help even more people with disabilities during this difficult time.
CBM CEO Rainer Brockhaus

Read more about our work during the Coronavirus pandemic

To support our partners, a “Disability Inclusive Community Action – COVID-19 Matrix” has been developed to provide guidance on possible action points in community development and mobilization in relation to COVID-19 preparedness and response.

Similarly, a guidance note for COVID-19 has been developed to support our eye health partners and communities they serve, in their efforts to combat this global health crisis.

Have a look at our work in - 

Africa: Uganda, Cameroon, Ethiopia

Asia: Pakistan, Vietnam, Bangladesh, India

Donate to CBM and Help Save Lives

Help us by donating generously to our Corona Response Fund and contributing to the survival of children and people with disabilities during these trying times.

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