The Middle East and Eurasia are at high-risk for increased mortality from coronavirus. The population in these areas is ageing rapidly, faces ongoing conflict and has huge displaced and refugee populations. Places like Syria have limited resources and medical infrastructure which will serve to make fighting COVID-19 all the harder.
We work in many countries in the Middle East and Eurasia, assisting with conflict-affected older women, men and communities and improving social-economic prospects for refugees and their host communities. Our usual activities, such as meeting with older people in safe community centres, have had to be temporarily suspended to limit the spread of COVID-19.
We are working hard to prevent the spread of the disease by providing hygiene kits to at-risk older people alongside printed advice about how to stay safe from COVID-19. Additionally, all care visitors and staff have been asked to wear masks and use hand sanitisers before home-based care visits to minimise the risk of introducing COVID-19 to older people.
Older people in the poorest parts of the world affected by conflict or living in refugee camps need help urgently to survive the silent threat of COVID-19.