The Coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread globally. Poor countries with fragile public health systems, where people are already facing many threats to their survival, are at greatest risk of infection and death.
The potential for devastation is especially high in refugee camps or countries that are already experiencing conflict or crisis, where people already struggle to access clean water, nutritious food, health care, safe shelter and other basics that offer protection from the Coronavirus. The impact could be devastating in crowded camps, urban areas and in settings where women are already fighting for their rights.
Women will be most deeply affected during this crisis because they make up 70 per cent of health care workers worldwide and will be at the frontlines of this pandemic, which puts them at high risk of infection. Women also hold an unequal share of care responsibilities around the world, and this care work will increase dramatically in this crisis, whether it is due to caring for sick parents or caring for children at home while schools are closed.
This is a global crisis we cannot ignore. There is still time to slow the spread of the Coronavirus and prevent a catastrophic loss of life in refugee camps and the world's poorest countries.