The COVID-19 pandemic affected us all, but it was the most vulnerable in society that were hit hardest.
Highlights from the Report
In the face of this health crisis, the Norwegian Red Cross, and its partners stepped-up response efforts to help prevent the spread of the disease and treat those affected by it.
NorCross spent around 87 million Norwegian Kroner on the pandemic response in 2020. But our work was not limited to COVID-19, we supported other crises too - such as hurricane Eta in Central America, and the devastating port explosion in Beirut, Lebanon.
Our activities in Burundi, South Sudan and Iraq have improved community health through the construction of latrines and water systems in schools and hospitals. Teams of health volunteers across the globe delivered first aid training, immunisation campaigns and psychosocial health.
Thousands of volunteers shared preventative health advice on cholera, malaria, and maternal and child health in their communities - many of which are marginalised and have little or no access to healthcare.
NorCross and its partners also advocated for the right to education and the right to healthcare. In El Salvador and Pakistan, we worked with communities to ensure that all children are given the opportunity to learn. In Afghanistan, Yemen and Latin America we worked closely with healthcare staff and local government authorities to ensure staff and health facilities are protected.
Our core belief that access to health is a universal human right informs how and where we work. We continue to call for greater action on sexual and gender-based violence within the Red Cross Red Crescent Movement and governments across the globe. We also campaign on the need to abide by international humanitarian law – specifically in relation to the proliferation of illegal weapons and urban warfare.
2021: the way forward
Despite the roll out of COVID-19 vaccination campaigns in some countries people continue to die from the disease; and for survivors, the effects of ‘long COVID-19’ are devastating. The social and economic consequences of the pandemic are dire. Millions of people saw a partial or complete loss of income in 2020 as economic activity ground to a halt.
Long-term pandemic effects
UN agencies claimed the pandemic’s long-term effects could push a further 207 million people into extreme poverty, with women and children disproportionally affected. In the months ahead we will push for equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines and we will continue to provide water and health care to hundreds of communities across the world.
*Numbers reached will increase when Movement-wide data is published throughout 2021