Responding to the pandemic
The Covid-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact, costing millions of lives and causing unprecedented economic and social disruption across the world.
Even the most advanced healthcare systems in the world were pushed to the brink by the pandemic, and for much of 2020, there was real concern that Africa’s weak medical services could be overwhelmed. Fortunately, case numbers in sub-Saharan Africa remained at the lower level on the scale during 2020, although most countries have experienced significant disruption.
Covid-19 caused major disruption to Africa’s smallholder farmers, as lockdown hindered cross-border trading, and had an effect on the production and processing of food.
Impacts on market access, on access by farmers to advisory services, and on the ability of farming families to purchase inputs including seed and fertiliser all had an impact, while school closures caused further disruption at household level.
Together with other shocks including drought, flooding and desert locust invasions, the pandemic has placed considerable strain on both governments and civil society organisations.
Self Help Africa supported efforts to disseminate information
and promote safety measures to curb the pandemic
Working with our local teams, partners, government ministries and UN agencies, Self Help Africa supported efforts to disseminate information and promote safety measures to curb the pandemic in the countries where we work.
Covid-19-related awareness-raising was embedded into our programme activities, while handwashing, sanitising facilities and masks were distributed to our staff, partners and smallholders. Mobile phone services were also used to disseminate information on Covid-19 prevention measures.
In Kenya and Uganda, we supported farmers and agricultural cooperatives to overcome market disruptions by securing new markets for their crops during lockdown. While in Malawi, Self Help Africa distributed information leaflets, soap, jerry cans and other vital equipment.
Self Help Africa has worked to protect vulnerable communities during this pandemic
the Irish Emergency Alliance (IEA)
RAISED IN the first
Self Help Africa is a founder member of the Irish Emergency Alliance (IEA) – which in September launched its inaugural appeal in response to the pandemic amongst vulnerable populations.
More than €300,000 was raised by the IEA’s first appeal
Self Help Africa used funds to purchase and distribute masks, soap and information, together with food and other assistance to affected communities in northern Kenya.