Ethiopia hosts the second-largest number of refugees in Africa, after Uganda. IJM and Misean Cara are funding a Covid-19 emergency response by the Jesuit Refugee Service(JRS) in Ethiopia, which currently has more than 730,000 registered refugees from surrounding countries.
In Uganda, the Covid-19 lockdown has had devastating effects on the lives of the population, leaving people without a way to make an income and children without access to school. "The number of hungry people is very high, children are malnourished, and especially sick people and pregnant women have huge problems" says Fr Frido Pfleuger SJ, Director of JRS Uganda, who updated us about the latest developments in the country and the lengths that the organisation is going to, to help communities get through this difficult period.
Cura personalis or ‘care for the whole person’ is a hallmark of Ignatian Spirituality and therefore is a key principle of the Jesuit ethos. It is a holistic approach to health – physical, psychological, and spiritual – which informs our response to the needs of vulnerable communities who are dealing with the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Kangemi Slum on the outskirts of Nairobi, Kenya is home to more than 100,000 people, who live in makeshift dwellings of cardboard, tin or plastic, with five or six people to a room. The slum is situated in a small valley with steep slopes rolling down to the Nairobi River. Due to a lack of sewers or clean water and overcrowding, disease spreads easily. There is no refuse collection so burning piles of rubbish cause smog and air pollution.
In Uganda, where most of the population works in the informal economy, the Covid-19 lockdown has had severe consequences, leaving people in need of income and food.