On 20th March 2020 the Zambian Government closed all schools, colleges and universities. Four days later it announced a systematic lockdown banning gatherings of more than 50 people and advising people to stay at home. The consequence means many have lost the ability to earn an income and Zambia Orphans Aids supported school children are no longer able to get their daily free school meal.
The city of Lusaka has been declared an epicentre and other locations in Lusaka have been declared RED zones. It’s highly likely the worst is yet to come and with only half the healthcare workers needed, according to WHO, Zambia is ill-prepared to deal with a pandemic like COVID-19.
Zambia is one of the world’s poorest countries. The country has been hugely affected by AIDS, and as antiretroviral treatment doesn’t work on an empty stomach, it’s important people have food to eat.
Particularly in the Southern Province rainfall has been low for two years and crops have failed. This has left families, already living in poverty, without food.
The price of staple foods such as maize, rice and wheat have increased because of the food shortage leaving people unable to afford to buy the basics. There is a desperate need to provide food rations to vulnerable families so that no child goes hungry.
Most households have very limited access to hygiene materials such as soap and hand sanitiser making good hygiene practices more challenging and increasing the likelihood of contracting and passing on COVID-19.
ZOA-UK with our grassroots Zambian partners are:
- distributing emergency food to orphans and vulnerable children and their households
- distributing soap to orphans and vulnerable children and their households
- delivering key health messages to Stop the Spread of COVID-19