Poverty in times of crisis: Beyond Covid-19
As we now try and manage the virus and raise awareness about washing hands and keeping safe, we must remember those who are most vulnerable.
Those who have lost their income, and cannot provide for their families.
There are thousands of people who rely on daily wages such as shop owners, handicraft men and women, taxi drivers and stall-owners. For these people, things are going to be incredibly challenging financially.
During this crisis, I’m also thinking about the thousands of female teachers working at the local pre-school, which Islamic Relief rehabilitated and helped to run. It is now closed. Teachers have to stay at home and they are not earning any income.
For those without an income or struggling financially, buying important hygiene products and food to last throughout the quarantine period is impossible.
As a Gazan and humanitarian worker, my main concern during the Covid-19 crisis is not the restriction of movement. This is an everyday reality for us.
No, in this crisis, what worries me most is the thousands of people who have lost their daily income.
What’s more, what about the young men and women who’ve graduated university and still haven’t had the chance to secure a dignified source of income, despite their intellectual and physical abilities?
I’ve long been worried about students’ education, which has been disrupted by man-made disasters and regular conflict. Students have been successful in earning sponsorships to study abroad and then lost them at the last moment due to border closure.
Yet this time it is different, Gaza is not alone. I hope that this Covid-19 pandemic will end soon and that peace will prevail.
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*Name has been changed to protect the individual’s identity