Supporting Displaced People in Response to COVID-19

The covid19 pandemic continues to spread. The number of confirmed cases in South Africa is now over 6,000, with 123 deaths. Even in these uncertain times, no one is powerless to make a difference. Small acts can change the course of the pandemic, bolster those facing economic challenges, and protect the most vulnerable.

At United Way South Africa, we are committed to ensure that our country’s most vulnerable communities have the support they need to overcome the overall impacts of the COVID-19 outbreak.

While we think of those affected by COVID-19, let’s not forget those who have no homes and are living on the streets for various reasons. South Africa is home to approximately 200,000 street displaced people, according to a recent estimate by the Human Sciences Resource Center, ­­­­a significant portion of the nation’s population of 53.5 million (Rule-Groenewald et al., 2015).

COVID-19 has affected us all, even though differently; this is why United Way South Africa is responding rapidly to an urgent request of basic physiological human needs – such as access to water, food, shelter, clothing, hygiene and sanitation and safety.

In collaboration with the City of Johannesburg, we are assisting the most vulnerable of our communities, the displaced and the stateless consisting mainly of young women and children.

These individuals are being housed safely in shelters throughout the city and they need access to the basic needs. On the 30th April 2020, we visited one of the shelters we’re supporting located at 3 Kotze Street, Johannesburg; to hand over in-kind donations of clothes, blankets and sanitary products.

We have also partnered with Meals on Wheels, who prepares freshly cooked nutritional meals for these people in need on a daily basis.

To date, about 1500 meals have been served.