COVID-19 Response

Three girls washing their hands at a primary school in Vietnam. Photo: Action on Poverty.

(Last updated 10 May, 2021)

Globally, over 157 million cases of COVID-19 have been reported to the World Health Organisation, and more than 3.2 million people have died from the virus.

One of the first lines of defence against COVID-19 is handwashing. But there are currently more than three billion people in the world who lack access to handwashing facilities.

Social distancing also presents a significant challenge for the poorest and most vulnerable people, who often live in overcrowded conditions in informal settlements or refugee camps.

The economic impacts of COVID-19 will also disproportionately affect the poorest people in developing countries. Global extreme poverty is expected to rise for the first time in over 20 years due to the pandemic. The World Bank suggests that the pandemic could push up to an additional 150 million people into extreme poverty in 2021.

In response to this global crisis, ACFID members and their local partners are working with local authorities and communities to prevent, contain and respond to COVID-19 in over 50 developing countries. They are working to:

  • Promote public awareness of COVID-19 and share health and hygiene messages; 
  • Provide essential supplies including personal protective equipment, soap, buckets and disinfectant;
  • Improve access to water, sanitation and hygiene facilities;
  • Support local hospitals and health clinics with the supply of medicines and technical assistance; and
  • Provide protection for women and children at increased risk of violence and abuse due to COVID-19.

Please find out more about the valuable efforts of our members and how you can contribute to their responses below, or at our dedicated appeals page for the COVID-19 response in India, here.

You can be assured that your support to any member listed below will meet identified needs on the ground. The standards by which ACFID's members make appeals for donations are set by ACFID’s Code of Conduct. This includes a responsibility to provide clear information to their donors on the emergency and the work they are doing with affected communities. All ACFID member appeals below have been checked and meet Code of Conduct requirements.

Donate Responsibly

Unrequested goods such as food, clothing and medicines sent to countries experiencing crises consistently end up in landfill. Unrequested goods block valuable space at ports and airports and can prevent vital aid getting through. Cash is fast, flexible, and is used to meet the immediate and changing needs of those affected.

With cash donations goods can be sourced and purchased locally. This supports local businesses, keeps people in jobs, and stimulates the local economy.

If you want your donation to have a long-lasting impact, consider donating cash. Find out more about how to donate responsibly at:

Over the past year, 17 of ACFID’s members have teamed up for the sole purpose of making a difference in times like these when the world faces devastating humanitarian crises. Believing they are stronger together, these agencies have committed to working collaboratively in the future to utilise their collective experience and strong networks on the ground to get donations to exactly where they’re needed, when they’re needed. To reflect their commitment to collaboration, their appeals have been listed together below.

Act for Peace

Conflict and disaster affected communities are not equipped to cope with COVID-19. A gift from you today will help Act for Peace respond to the urgent needs of these vulnerable communities. In India, our partner is conducting COVID-19 awareness training with Sri Lankan refugees. In Zimbabwe, our partners are raising awareness of the virus, distributing soap and clean water, and providing food aid. In Jordan, our partner is preparing to distribute food rations and hygiene kits to Syrian refugees, and supporting them to sew and distribute face masks. Your gift will help support these and other vulnerable people during this pandemic.
ActionAid Australia

ActionAid is on the ground in Africa, Asia, the Pacific, Middle East and Latin America working with women on the frontlines of the COVID-19 crisis to mobilise rapidly and prevent the outbreak of the virus by getting vital health and hygiene information, protective equipment and food rations where they are most needed. ActionAid has also stepped up efforts to ensure protection of women facing increased risk of violence and exploitation.

Anglican Overseas Aid

Anglican Overseas Aid is responding to the COVID-19 crisis through our local partners, working prevent the spread of infection through promoting good hygiene practices and distributing accurate health information. We are also helping to lessen the secondary impacts of the lockdowns through distribution of essential supplies to the most vulnerable, strengthening alternative livelihoods and improving safety for women and children through support and service referrals. In Kenya and Mozambique our partners are leveraging their extensive community volunteer networks for community health education, ensuring that the most vulnerable are identified and accurate information is received at the household level.

Australia for UNHCR 

The UN Refugee Agency is racing to safeguard refugees from coronavirus. Refugees face conditions that make it almost impossible to respect coronavirus prevention measures. We're installing hand washing stations, providing personal protective equipment, establishing isolation wards, additional hospital beds and new field clinics, and negotiating for forcibly displaced people to be included in national responses. Our frontline teams have taken on many public health crises in the past, they're rolling out a major global operation, and they urgently need our support.

Australian Lutheran World Service

The Australian Government is providing a 10:1 grant that multiplies donors' help through ALWS to protect communities against COVID-19. This grant will support information sharing and the purchase of health suppliesin Cambodia, Nepal, Indonesia and Somalia. Essential items to be supplied include masks, thermometers, hygiene kits, and clean water.
Baptist World Aid Australia

Transform Aid International (Baptist World Aid Australia). Your most important gift ever is needed to stop preventable deaths due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Your gift will mean emergency food and water for vulnerable families whose livelihoods are affected by pandemic restrictions. It means protective equipment for frontline workers safe as they care for those who are sick. It means vital hygiene education for communities. Help stop the rapid spread of coronavirus by giving your most important gift ever.
CARE Australia

CARE's response to COVID-19 begins with our established relationships and existing networks in 100 countries. CARE has already begun building handwashing stations, providing clean water, and distributing sanitation kits - all led by our local teams, 95% of whom are from the communities where they live and work.
Caritas Australia

Caritas Australia is currently working with local partners to provide urgent assistance to communities facing COVID-19. Through our network of local churches and NGOs, we are delivering critical health supplies, Personal Protective Equipment, hygiene kits, soap and sanitation to some of the most remote and marginalised communities. We also raise awareness through prevention education so that vulnerable communities can better protect themselves from the virus. Stand with our global neighbours today and help stop the spread of COVID-19.

Currently over one billion people are living with disabilities and they are unduly impacted during times of crisis and disaster. It is imperative that CBM continues to work with our partners to ensure no one is left behind. Our COVID-19 priorities 1. Equip or partner hospitals and clinics with health care equipment, including masks and gloves. 2. People with disabilities and those most at risk are able to maintain their health and hygiene 3. Provide safe, clean water for washing and drinking and cleaning products like soap 4. Provide emergency aid packages to those facing food crisis
ChildFund Australia

For children in poor communities, the collateral damage from COVID-19 is just as big a risk as the virus itself. In response, ChildFund Australia has launched an emergency appeal to support children and families who are most vulnerable. This is focused on 5 priority areas: preventing and containing the virus; helping young people to continue learning; keeping young people safe from violence and exploitation; ensuring children get the nutrition they need; and supporting young people to play an active role in the response.

As the outbreak of COVID-19 reaches the most vulnerable communities across the globe the devastation could be unprecedented. Oxfam is already on the ground in some of the poorest countries, like Yemen, Bangladesh, and Timor Leste. We're distributing essential supplies including personal protective equipment (PPE) and hygiene kits. We are providing emergency materials and food to households, upgrading water and sanitation systems at refugee camps and health facilities, and continuing training and awareness-raising activities.
Plan International Australia

COVID-19 is a public health emergency unlike anything we’ve ever seen. The threat it poses to children, particularly girls, living in vulnerable communities around the world - be it refugee camps, remote regions of Asia and the Pacific or food-insecure countries in southern Africa – is catastrophic. Plan International is expertly placed to respond to this crisis. By supporting vulnerable communities with hygiene kits, access to clean water, handwashing guidance and public health information, you can help stop the spread of COVID-19. We cannot wait. Will you donate today to help halt the spread?
Save the Children Australia

Save the Children's COVID-19 appeal is focussed on saving lives by preventing and managing the spread of the pandemic in Asia and the Pacific. We are promoting hand washing and hygiene, distributing soap and hand sanitiser. We have health experts helping our teams on the ground develop and implement COVID-19 response plans. Donations will also provide vital protective equipment and medical supplies, and help to train health workers.
TEAR Australia

TEAR Australia’s ‘Remember the Poor' COVID Appeal urges us to remember the world’s most vulnerable in a time of crisis. Funds will go towards supporting our partners to respond to communities in need during this COVID-19 pandemic. This includes practical emergency relief such as food packages, as well as supplies like vegetable seeds to assist with longer term nutritional needs. Our partners are also providing much-needed health and hygiene education, supplies and resources including handwashing stations – as well as friendship and care for their communities who are struggling, and ongoing support to help communities recover from the crisis. This appeal closes on July 31 2020. Donations received after this date will be redirected to similar projects.
UNICEF Australia

During COVID-19, UNICEF Australia is providing immediate relief and working with governments, local partners and communities to help children recover, rebound, reimagine and build a stronger future. We are working to give every child a fair chance by uniting against disease. UNICEF Australia's COVID-19 Children's Response Appeal will support the health, safety, wellbeing and education of children throughout the pandemic and beyond.

World Vision Australia

World Vision Australia’s Coronavirus Appeal focuses on prevention and response work in high risk areas where health systems are fragile or almost non-existent, to support the world’s most vulnerable combat the impacts of COVID-19. The massive 18-month response includes scaling up preventative measures to limit the spread of the disease, distributing food and hygiene supplies to communities and protective clothing for health workers, and providing community training and health education. The humanitarian response is the largest in World Vision’s 70-year history, and donations will also assist with stress management for self-isolating families.


ACC International Relief

ACCIR's Kinnected program seeks to preserve and strengthen families. COVID-19 is leading to increased vulnerability of families around the world, increasing the risks of children being separated from their families and unnecessarily placed in institutional care. Therefore, Kinnected is actively working to preserve families and support efforts to strengthen child protection and welfare systems. Our appeal will support the provision of emergency financial and food support for families, the expansion of family-based alternative care and equip those to advocate for the prioritisation of families.
Action on Poverty

Action on Poverty's COVID-19 appeal focuses on supporting vulnerable communities in Africa, Asia, and the Pacific, many of whom who have lost their incomes and are at risk of slipping further backward into poverty. Coordinating with our in-country partners, we are focusing on: increasing awareness of COVID-19 and good hygiene practices; distributing soap, sanitiser, and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE); and ensuring households have access to food and other essentials to see them through the crisis. 
Adara Development

Adara is seeking support for our COVID-19 response and the delivery of critical health, education, child protection and nutrition support services to vulnerable children and their communities in Uganda and Nepal. Together we will protect health workers, undertake public health awareness campaigns, support health facilities with the necessary protocols and equipment, and ensure the continuity of essential healthcare services. We will also provide educational and social support to children whose education has been disrupted and prevent child trafficking during this pandemic.
Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA)

Vulnerable people suffer the most in any crisis. And more people in Australia and around the world have become vulnerable due to the COVID-19 crisis. Your help will enable ADRA to keep our doors open for vulnerable people. Overseas, with your help, families in need are receiving monthly food rations, healthcare personnel are receiving important personal protective equipment and communities are practising good hygiene through training and education. And in Australia, volunteers are delivering care packages and food items to those most affected by the virus.
Anglican Aid

The Archbishop of Sydney's Anglican Aid is showing the love of Jesus to impoverished communities in lockdown. We are supporting 12 international partners to provide food rations, basic essentials, soap and sanitation facilities, and hygiene education in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. Our Pakistan-based project is preventing starvation among indentured brick kiln labourers who are unable to work due to Coronavirus-imposed restrictions. In India, our project partner is supporting disabled and elderly people to access medicine.
Anglican Board of Mission

ABM is helping to equip partners with the resources they need to help communities during this crisis, both in Australia and around the world. ABM continues to be in contact with our Overseas Partners to assess and respond to this crisis. Partners are working hard on information campaigns including the distribution of handwashing and hygiene kits to prevent COVID-19's spread. 
Anglican Relief and Development Fund Australia

Our starting focus is Indonesia, the world’s 4th most populated country (270M), with one of the highest Covid 19 mortality rate (9.3%). Working with a network of partner churches throughout Indonesia, we love our neighbour by providing emergency ration pack, community health education, masks and sanitizers, financial assistance for those who have lost their livelihoods..
Australian Doctors International

Australian Doctors International (ADI) is part of the frontline COVID-19 response team in PNG providing expert advice on preparing provincial and remote hospitals to deal with the outbreak as well as supplying health workers with urgently needed PPE supplies and medicines. At the request of local health authorities, ADI are running virus education sessions for remote communities and supplying soap, buckets and hand sanitisers to help stop the spread of COVID-19. We are working with provincial hospitals to gear up for their response utilising our network of Australian volunteer doctors with PNG experience. Please give generously to support this urgent work in PNG.
Assisi Aid Projects

Many families that we support in Tamil Nadu are experiencing increased food insecurity. We are responding by distributing food relief packages to the families and single women we work with. Assisi Aid Projects provides guidance via telephone to families on how to access government relief plans, and COVID-19 prevention measures. The children’s education project is now delivered remotely, incorporating COVID-19 health messages into learning materials and supported activities.
Union Aid Abroad APHEDA

Right now, our partner organisations across the globe are mobilising to help their communities overcome this emergency. Some ways our partners are responding include broadcasting life-saving information, supporting refugee communities, protecting vulnerable workers, and more. 
Australian Red Cross is amplifying the efforts of our colleagues as they tackle the pandemic to contain the spread of COVID-19 and support those affected. We're supporting Pacific Red Cross National Societies in their efforts to prepare communities for COVID-19. We're supporting efforts to contain the pandemic in Cox's Bazar in Bangladesh. Aid workers are supporting pandemic preparedness, emergency operations and emergency health services. In Australia we are working with federal and state governments and thousands of volunteers across the country to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.Global Development Group

GDG project partners are initiating COVID-19 emergency relief programs with a focus on their existing target communities. Due to extended lockdowns and loss of income, vulnerable communities are experiencing food scarcity and a lack of access to hygiene products.  GDG partners are distributing essentials such as food and hygiene products to meet immediate needs, as well as community sensitisation material focused on sanitation and health to ensure communities are informed about how to stop the spread of COVID-19.
Global Mission Partners

GMP is supporting partners in this challenging situation in three ways:
  • Continuing current projects as far as possible. All of the projects that our partners were already involved in were building the resilience of communities.
  • Making adjustment to their projects. Activities are modified to respond to the changing situation due to COVID-19 in the partner’s location
  • Starting specific projects to support vulnerable groups who are under additional threat from COVID.
GMP is seeking donations to continue supporting our partners’ responses to COVID 19.
International Needs Australia

Handwashing is extremely important in vulnerable communities, where people lack access to basic medical care or hygiene resources. If COVID-19 reaches these areas, the consequences would be dire. An urgent response is needed in order to provide vulnerable communities with handwashing stations, soap, sanitiser, hygiene training and protective gear.
International Women's Development AgencyCOVID-19 is impacting women differently and drastically. IWDA and our partners are working intensely to support women in Asia and the Pacific as they confront increased threats of gender-based violence and loss of livelihoods. Our partners are providing emergency shelter, counselling and referral services to women most at risk.Kokoda Track Foundation

KTF's PNG team is at the front-line of the COVID-19 response. Health Workers at the 12 health facilities we support in the remote Kokoda region need supplies to combat COVID-19 while safely maintaining vital community healthcare services. Hygiene equipment, paracetamol, other drugs & PPE are crucial. Partnering with communities, local authorities & transport partners, we aim to keep supply lines open where healthcare access is already limited. Donations will resource our Healthy Communities response to COVID-19 & provide critical healthcare services to the 40,000 people our facilities service.
MAA International

MAA is responding to the COVID19 pandemic by providing International aid in countries that are struggling to deal with the immediate effects of the lockdown and lack of access to daily essentials. MAA is also assisting domestically within Australia.
Nusa Tenggara Association

NTA's COVID-19 program is providing vital hand wash stations, soap, and hygiene education to schools and farming communities in poor areas of Eastern Indonesia. Donations are needed to roll out this program to new communities and provide water tanks and toilets to schools with an urgent requirement. 
Opportunity International Australia

Opportunity International Australia is working alongside our program partners to build resilience in communities and support families in poverty by focusing on immediate and long-term solutions. Our community health leaders are concentrating on COVID-19 prevention, teaching families about proper handwashing, personal hygiene and nutrition, while some of our partners are also able to provide essential items like food, soap and sanitary products to families in need. Knowing that small loans will be crucial for families to rebuild their lives following COVID-19, we’re ensuring we can be there to help them restart businesses and earn the incomes they need to provide for themselves and their children.
So They Can

While we know that in the developed world children are less likely to get the coronavirus, we don't know if that will be true in Africa, where malnutrition and co-infections might make children more vulnerable. So They Can teams in Kenya and Tanzania expanded their work to focus on preventing the spread of coronavirus. So They Can is providing hygiene education, access to water stations and soap, and making reusable face masks. We are producing home learning packs to enable students to continue education. Donations to So They Can appeal will be used to produce learning packs and face masks.
Sustain Projects Myanmar

We are working with our partner in Yangon's largest slum to provide food and other essential items for families who have lost their meagre source of income due to the Corona virus.
Uniting World

Your donation will help equip vulnerable communities in the Pacific, Asia and Africa to overcome COVID-19. UnitingWorld's international partners are using their existing projects and networks to provide emergency food; access to clean water, soap and health advice to stop the spread of coronavirus; protection and support for people vulnerable to violence, and income generation activities for people in devastated economies.