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Stories of #GoodChange

July 2020

GN World Stories #1

The current coronavirus pandemic has seen devastating effects across the globe. In many ways, this crisis has shone a light on deep-rooted systemic inequities and the far-reaching effects of economic disparities. The pandemic has highlighted the link between national wealth and the potential for health and economic resilience, with the poorest countries being hit the hardest. The limited resources and government capacities of developing countries make containment of the disease particularly difficult. 

Facing the Battle | Good Neighbours uniting against Covid-19

A major issue for poorer countries is the lack of resources to conduct coronavirus testing (low-income countries have carried out less than 1% of the number of tests conducted by high-income countries). The fears for developing countries include the high potential for virus spread in overcrowded regions, further economic distress and inability to recover, and a lack of resources to test and treat the virus. Insufficient protective equipment in medical facilities has forced many health care workers to either put themselves at risk or leave their jobs, while hospitals that lack space and human and medical resources are turning away severely ill patients. Lockdowns in highly impoverished nations are not an option, leaving entire populations of vulnerable people at high risk.

Vulnerable communities, particularly in developing countries, are ill-equipped to control and contain the spread of COVID-19. During this global pandemic, it is our belief at Good Neighbours that we must support these vulnerable communities by helping to increase the effectiveness of and accessibility to health care facilities, procure and deliver medical equipment, and provide access to education on disease prevention.

With over 300 confirmed cases to date, Myanmar is among the developing countries affected by COVID-19. Good Neighbors Myanmar, in collaboration with the Access to Health Fund (managed by the United Nations Office for Project Services), has sought to combat the spread of COVID-19 in Myanmar by mobilising a total of US$700,000 (roughly AUD$1,021,560) to procure and conduct 20,000 coronavirus tests. 

This comes after a COVID-19 Emergency Response Agreement was signed by Good Neighbors Myanmar and the UNOPS in March. The project also includes a focus on promoting health and sanitisation for 30,000 families in Myanmar.

Good Neighbours families in 44 nations are responding to the need for international relief and assistance and support for vulnerable communities striving to combat not only the spread of COVID-19 but the ripple effects of wealth and income inequality on a global scale. As the Financial Review states, there has never “been a greater need for an ambitious and co-operative response