Monday, April 6, 2020

Recommended Reading: COVID-19 impact on Haiti and other poor countries

The Michigan Annual Conference published this excellent and thorough article about concerns that their mission covenant partners in Haiti have in the face of the coronavirus pandemic. While some parts of the Haitian context are unique to that country, the article is worth a read because many of the challenges confronting Haiti because of coronavirus are also challenges in other poor countries. In particular, the article discusses the trade-offs between social distancing and a host of other concerns, including the need to get food, the importance of social networks for survival, and the close physical proximity required for many transportation modes. Moreover, while handwashing stations have proliferated, the availability of water for sanitation remains a concern. The article also points out that new global demand for Chloroquine as a possible treatment for COVID-19 may make it less available (or more expensive) for treating malaria, which is its primary use. While United Methodists in the US are facing their own legitimate concerns about coronavirus, they must not forget the concerns of partners around the world as well and instead respond with prayer, advocacy, and tangible support.

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