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Protection against Coronavirus-induced Poverty and Vulnerability

Welcome to CENFACS’ Online Diary!

08 April 2020


Post No. 138




The Week’s Contents


• Saving and Rebuilding Africa: Saving and Rebuilding Destroyed Lives and the Victims of the Coronavirus Pandemic

• Coronavirus-related Organisational Relief Programme (CrORP)

• Protection Key Note 2: Protection against Coronavirus-induced Poverty and Vulnerability


… and much more!



Key Messages


~ Saving and Rebuilding Africa: Saving and Rebuilding Destroyed Lives and the Victims of the Coronavirus Pandemic


The coronavirus pandemic continues to destroy lives and to claim its victims.  The coronavirus and anti-coronavirus measures can create or exacerbate poverty or even develop a new type of poverty.  Due this development, there is a need to take into account the coronavirus pandemic factor and the sanitary crisis it has brought in CENFACS’ model of rebuilding lives, infrastructures and institutions.

To do that, we are going to shadow the epidemiological curve (or the “epi curve”) of the Coronavirus Pandemic in Africa in our model of rebuilding Africa.  In other words, there will be different responses for saving and rebuilding lives which will try to match the different phases of the “epi curve”

Under the Main Developments section of this post, we have provided further details about our shadowing work via the “epi curve”.




~ Coronavirus-related Organisational Relief Programme (CrORP)


In a series of CENFACS’ responses to the economic fallout from the Covid-19 shock and disturbance, CENFACS will be supporting and working with Africa-based Sister Organisations (ASOs) in order for them to erect adaptation and mitigation as well as capacity to manage the Covid-19 shock as the number of confirmed cases and fatalities keep increasing in Africa.

This support and way of working together are parts of a new programme.  Last week, we set up two coronavirus-related initiatives (that is Virtual Support during the Coronavirus Pandemic, and the Coronavirus Spring Project).  These two initiatives are designed to directly support individuals as end-users or beneficiaries.   

In addition to the above two initiatives, we have started a fundraising campaign in the form of what we can call a Charitable Response to the Coronavirus (CRC) or Charitable Fight against the Coronavirus (CFAC).  This new campaign will enable those who want to donate, pledge and make a gift declaration to do it so that we can together support the coronavirus-stricken people during and after this global health.

However, we noticed that there was a vacuum between CENFACS as an organisation and African organisations regarding the handling of the coronavirus crisis.  To bridge this gap, we have now a new programme or CrORP.  The latter, which is exceptionally designed for organisations, aims at empowering Africa-based organisations so that they can effectively help those affected by the life-threatening impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. 

CrORP is a programme conceived to provide essential humanitarian assistance to those ASOs affected by the coronavirus by helping them now and after once the coronavirus pandemic crisis is gone so that they can maintain and expand their not-for-profit services.  In this respect, the programme will help them to adjust and remain active and robust in front of the coronavirus pandemic.

The CrORP, which is meant to support ASOs in the voluntary fight against the coronavirus pandemic, is therefore supposed to achieve the following:

√ Decouple ASOs from the adverse impacts of the Covid-19 shock

√ Rethink their working model and practices

√ Develop recovery or rebuilding strategies and plans

√ Set up self-insurance policy against the coronavirus pandemic and other similar threats and risks

√ Redevelop healthcare, sanitation and protection policies within these organisations

√ Re-organise their fundraising strategies, particularly but not exclusively for unrestricted funds, to counteract the hit from the coronavirus crisis

√ Help them to face disruption in the cash flow during the Covid-19 shock

√ Develop strategies to mitigate the loss of funding and create adaptable demand for their services to the affected communities

√ Model new proposals for setting up reserve holdings

√ Help them ring-fence their poverty reduction works in times of global crisis like of the coronavirus pandemic

In brief, the CrORP is about supporting ASOs to manage the long term impacts of the coronavirus pandemic and ensure that they continue their work towards poor and vulnerable people.




~ Protection Key Note 2: Protection against Coronavirus-induced Poverty and Vulnerability


There are poor and vulnerable people and communities that need protection against the life-threatening and –destroying impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.  In places without a strong healthcare system and poor economic infrastructures like in Africa, the Covid-19 shock can create poverty and vulnerability or exacerbate them.  Because of that, there is a need to protect these poor and vulnerable lives in face of the Covid-19 storm and its mounting damage.

Under the Main Developments section of this post, we have listed the types of poor and vulnerable people resulting from the Covid-19 disaster.  We are as well spelling out the needs for sound protection for these Covid-19 victims.




Extra Messages


~ Coronavirus Donations, Pledges and Gifts Needed!


Help CENFACS fight the Coronavirus together with you this Easter

You can donate or pledge or make a gift aid declaration to help CENFACS’ in its Charitable Response to the Coronavirus (CRC) or Charitable Fight against the Coronavirus (CFAC).

CRC or CFAC is a CENFACS’ contribution via its supporters to the global effort to fight the coronavirus pandemic.

Any of the donations, pledges and gifts given will help the coronavirus-affected poor people in Africa.

To support, just contact CENFACS by quoting or asking the Charitable Response to the Coronavirus (CRC) or Charitable Fight Against Coronavirus (CFAC).

CRC or CFAC is a fundraising campaign set up by CENFACS to support the coronavirus-stricken poor people in Africa.

Thank you!




~ Holiday with Relief at Easter Time


The Individual Capacity Development Programme (ICDP) resource entitled Holiday with Relief continues to be our source of reference this Easter holiday, together with its focus on Holiday without Coronavirus. 

For those who are looking for advice, tips and hints including fixers for their Easter holiday; our ICDP resource is a handy basic companion to consider for Holiday with Relief.  It contains useful pieces of information for holiday with relief whether holiday makers stay at home or go away to pass their holiday.  In this particular time of the coronavirus-hit Easter holiday, it can help about self-isolation, social distancing protection and confinement.

Its handiness and usefulness are as good for this year’s edition as for the previous issues.

To request a copy of the ICDP resources, please contact CENFACS.

Whether you pass your Easter holiday in self-isolation or confinement or not, CENFACS wishes you a Very Healthy and Safe Easter Time!




~ Covid-19 and Africa’s Commodity Dependence


Whenever there is a major crisis in recent times, the issue of Africa’s dependence on primary commodities resurfaces.  Perhaps, one of the reasons could be that Africa has not yet been able to rebuild its industrial base to a satisfactory level since the past mistakes of industrialisation experiences of the 1960s and 1970s.

With the Covid-19 shock, the world together with Africa in it is rampantly entering a period of economic uncertainty with the possibility of a general or perhaps progressive decline of the primary commodity prices.  This is despite the re-emergence of a new state economy which is trying to bailout people and businesses in order to stop the Covid-19 storm spill over the economy. 

From the literature survey on international trade, commodity dependence normally occurs when countries rely on a narrow range of exports or more than 50 per cent of their export earnings come from one or two commodities.  According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (1),

“a country is considered to be export-commodity-dependent when more than 60 per cent of its total merchandise exports are composed of commodities”.

The UNCTAD argues that two out of five commodity-dependent countries are located in sub-Saharan Africa.  The data released by the organisation shows for example that for the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), the three leading commodity exports (as a share of total merchandise exports) were 65.  These three leading exports were made of a/ copper b/ miscellaneous no-ferrous base metals for metallurgy c/copper ores and concentrates, copper mattes, cemen (p. 77).

The UNCTAD continues by examplifying that the DRC, which is a developing and low income country; is dependent on exports of minerals, ores and metals, and its commodity exports (as a share of GDP) were 17.6 in 2017 (p. 77).  This is let alone the conflict minerals (such as tantalum, tin, gold, and tungsten) it possesses. 

Africa’s commodity dependence and the example of the DRC highlight how Africa could be vulnerable when the prices of commodities decline.  The current situation of the global health or sanitary crisis with the coronavirus which may lead to a fall in prices of commodity provides another evidence of the fragility of Africa’s economies that are commodity-dependent. 

This dependency situation of Africa militates in favour of a diversification of African economies.  Therefore, the current health and sanitation crisis is again a further opportunity for African economies to continue on the road of economic diversification, although there may not be a linear relationship between diversification and income.  The thoughts on Covid-19 continue…


(1) United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, State of Commodity Dependence 2019, United Nations, Geneva 2019






Main Developments


Saving and Rebuilding Africa: Saving and Rebuilding Destroyed Lives and the Victims of the Coronavirus Pandemic


• • Rebuilding Africa by shadowing the “epi curve” of the Coronavirus Pandemic in Africa


The consequences of the coronavirus pandemic have not yet been fully analysed in Africa since the pandemic is still following its epidemiological curve (the “epi curve”).  Despite that is it possible to save and rebuild lives at the same time?  

At this particular time, it will be financially and economically difficult to deploy resources in both rebuilding lives and tackling the coronavirus pandemic.  Since Spring Relief season at CENFACS is about rebuilding lives, infrastructures and institutions; it is possible to examine where lives need rebuilding and where they need salvation.  This should be done knowing the current sanitary emergency and war.

Unlike other organisations which may have been forced to change the direction or course of their activities at this exceptional time of the Covid-19 shock, CENFACS has opted to re-prioritise or re-balance needs between of rebuilding and of saving the lives for the coronavirus affected people and areas in Africa.

Where the coronavirus severely and hardly  hit people, it has shown that there are different phases or episodes in the crisis as the “epi curve” explains.  At this time in Africa, many countries are at their early stage of the pandemic and may be at different stages and speeds of the development of “epi curve”. 

Because of this differentiation and specificity of the “epi curve”, our rebuilding work or model has been organised in such a way of taking into account the evolution the coronavirus pandemic.  We are therefore going to help rebuild Africa via the development of the “epi curve” of the coronavirus pandemic this Spring.  What does it mean?

It does not mean that our rebuilding model will follow the product life-cycle (made of the phases of launch, growth, maturity and decline).  It simply means that our rebuilding work will try to match the phase in which the coronavirus will be on the “epi curve” (that is rise, peak and decline).  In other words, we may need to intensify or decrease our rebuilding campaign work in accordance with the flattening of the peak of the “epi curve” in Africa or in particular country or area of Africa.       


• • Saving and rebuilding lives in the different phases of the “epi curve”


There will be three waves of advocacy campaigns for saving and rebuilding lives in Africa during this Spring as follows:

√ Saving and rebuilding at the time of rise of the coronavirus pandemic in Africa

√ Saving and rebuilding at the time of peak of the coronavirus pandemic in Africa

√ Saving and rebuilding at the time of decline of the coronavirus pandemic in Africa


The above are the different waves of our planned campaign for saving and rebuilding lives in Africa this Spring 2020.




Protection against Coronavirus-induced Poverty and Vulnerability (Protection Key Note 2, In Focus from 08/04/2020)


Our second key note on protection month will be about protecting poor and vulnerable people.  There are pre-coronavirus and post-coronavirus poor and vulnerable. 

Whether people were or have been made poor or vulnerable is one issue.   Addressing coronavirus-induced or non-induced poverty and vulnerability is the issue to deal with.  To do that, let first see who is poor and or vulnerable because of coronavirus.


• • Protecting the coronavirus-induced poor


The economic fallout from the coronavirus pandemic strikes differently depending on many factors such as healthcare systems, levels of development of places, governance, how organised the authorities dealing with the pandemic are, how people are resilient, how quick they are in reacting, etc.   Because of these factors and differentiation, in our work we will consider the protection from the coronavirus for poor people in Africa. 

Focusing on Africa, one could identify the following coronavirus-induced poor people:

º People without working emergency phone lines during the coronavirus pandemic

º Children isolated without food, water or medicine

º Orphan and street children

º Those living in detention centre and prison

º Those suffering from coronavirus injustice, unfairness and lack of any health rights

º Small poor traders who have been told to stop working without any financial bailout or tax relief

º Those who have been forced to apply social distancing measures in poverty-stricken and overcrowded homes and slums

º Poor women traders, women who are HIV positive without access to medicine and abused women

º Pastoralists with their animals in situation of social distancing

º Refugees and migrant workers

º Those without or with poor access to healthcare means, without running water, electricity, internet or phone services

º Those living in poor conditions without clean water, where sewage running the streets, without safe sanitation

º Those are uninsured, disenfranchised, ill or non-informed and less mobile

º Those living in informal jobs without access to social safety net or government help

º Those suffering from all sorts of inequalities from African countries’ lockdown

º Those without access to coronavirus diagnoses because of being in low social classes

º Homeless people and undocumented migrants who may not have access to treatment against the coronavirus

º Those who are extremely poor who cannot buy soap and sanitary items

º Those without free testing and medical care

º Those who do not have mobile money account and depend on African diaspora remittance system, but the money transfer shops are closed because of the coronavirus pandemic

º Those living in camps because of wars and the impacts of climate change

º Those who simply become poor because of the Covid-19 disaster, and so on

The above shows that the coronavirus-induced poverty can have many shapes and contents.  We can carry on listing them.  However, what is important is to take action against poverty and protect these types of poor people who may have been created by the destructive and devastating impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.

CENFACS’ Coronavirus Spring Project, which is an initiative designed to help alleviate some of these issues, is meant to reduce the social and economic repercussions for those who become poor because of the coronavirus pandemic shock.  In doing so, the project protects them from the life-threatening impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.


• • Protecting the extremely vulnerable from Covid-19


The UK government (2) has provided its definition of those who are considered as extremely vulnerable in face of the Covid-19.

According to the UK government, the people falling into this group include:

  1. Solid organ transplant recipients.
  2. People with specific cancers:
    • people with cancer who are undergoing active chemotherapy
    • people with lung cancer who are undergoing radical radiotherapy
    • people with cancers of the blood or bone marrow such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma who are at any stage of treatment
    • people having immunotherapy or other continuing antibody treatments for cancer
    • people having other targeted cancer treatments which can affect the immune system, such as protein kinase inhibitors or PARP inhibitors
    • people who have had bone marrow or stem cell transplants in the last 6 months, or who are still taking immunosuppression drugs
  3. People with severe respiratory conditions including all cystic fibrosis, severe asthma and severe COPD.
  4. People with rare diseases and inborn errors of metabolism that significantly increase the risk of infections (such as SCID, homozygous sickle cell).
  5. People on immunosuppression therapies sufficient to significantly increase risk of infection.
  6. Women who are pregnant with significant heart disease, congenital or acquired.

The UK government has asked them to shield for their personal protection.

Amongst the above classified or listed as extremely vulnerable by the UK government, there are other vulnerable people who may need help.  Amongst these additional vulnerable are those who are continuously exposed to contamination through the channels of transmission of coronavirus pandemic.  One can include in this category those who are the guardians of everybody health: frontline medical, clinical, emergency and healthcare-related staff and carers.

There are as well key, essential and support workers and volunteers who are tirelessly working to save the above extremely vulnerable and the general public, avoid widespread contamination of the coronavirus and keep the economy working without going into recession or depression.  Because they are putting their own lives at high risk, they need help in order to keep dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.

CENFACS’ Virtual Support during the Coronavirus Pandemic Crisis is a non-clinical and non-medical initiative set up to try to help as much as we can the vulnerable people and other people who they become vulnerable because of the coronavirus.

Briefly, CENFACS’ Coronavirus Spring Project and Virtual Support against the Coronavirus Pandemic are set up to respectively protect poor and vulnerable people who might be affected by the life-threatening and –destroying impacts of the coronavirus pandemic.  They are people-centred protection initiatives that are designed to directly benefit people, the coronavirus-hit ones. 

(2) https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19/guidance-on-shielding-and-protecting-extremely-vulnerable-persons-from-covid-19#what-do-we-mean-by-extremely-vulnerable


Help CENFACS keep the Poverty Relief work going in 2020.

We do our work on a very small budget and on a voluntary basis.  Making a donation will show us you value our work and support CENFACS’ work, which is currently offered as a free service. 

One could consider a recurring donation to CENFACS in the furture.

Donate to support CENFACS!


FOR ONLY £1, YOU CAN SUPPORT CENFACS AND CENFACS’ PROJECTS, JUST GO TO http://cenfacs.org.uk/supporting-us/

Thank you for visiting CENFACS website and reading this post.

Thank you as well to those who made or make comments about our weekly posts.

We look forward to receiving your regular visits and continuing support throughout 2020 and beyond.

With many thanks.


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