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The New Arab

Together Against Coronavirus: Shining a spotlight on frontline initiatives leading the charge against Covid-19

Date of publication: 16 April, 2020

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In this special series, The New Arab profiles charities, organisations, and initiatives leading the response against the coronavirus pandemic and lending a helping hand to vulnerable individuals and communities.
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In this special series, The New Arab profiles charities, organisations, and initiatives leading the response against the coronavirus pandemic and lending a helping hand to vulnerable individuals and communities.

The series will focus on the Middle East and North Africa region, but will also shine a spotlight on frontline groups in the English-speaking world working among black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) communities, who are being disproportionately hit by Covid-19.

But these groups need your help. In many contexts, they operate in places where state services are weak or completely absent, which means they are literally the only hope and last line of defence for their communities.

With this in mind, we urge our readers to read and widely share these articles about the important work being done to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus and maintain some level of normalcy for populations already ravaged by neglect and/or conflict. 

We also ask our readers to consider volunteering and/or donating to these or other groups they prefer.

In this time of adversity, we should all band together against coronavirus.

If you know of a group you think we should profile, please contact us at info@alaraby.co.uk

Check below our regularly updated list of articles. Click on Special Contents below the list to see our other coronavirus special coverage

Part 1: How Palestine's Red Crescent is taking charge of the coronavirus response in the occupied territories

So far, the Palestine Red Crescent (PRCS) is the only group that is able to provide aid for Palestinians in the West Bank, Gaza and in diaspora communities mainly across Syria and Lebanon. The PRCS has more than 5,000 active volunteers across different areas and each volunteer has been trained in different areas of medical relief and crisis management. Read more about its work here

Part 2: Violet Organization: The Idlib NGO helping Syria's embattled province fight Covid-19

Syria's northwest - the country's last opposition-held territory - has been pummelled by Assad forces' ruthless military campaign. Local and international anxieties have mounted over whether the coronavirus will reach the battered region. Local non-governmental organisations (NGOs) have continued their efforts in northwest Syria. Some have launched preemptive Covid-19 response initiatives. Violet Organization is one of them. Violet Organization started out in 2012, and today it boasts around 2,000 employees and 1,000 volunteers based in northwest Syria. Read more about its work here.


Part 3: Lebanon's Anti-Racism Movement is a lifeline for vulnerable migrant workers during coronavirus


The Anti-Racism Movement (ARM), a Lebanese NGO, has become a lifeline for cash-strapped migrant workers otherwise left to fend for themselves after losing their livelihoods while stranded in Lebanon. Excluded from national labour laws and granted little to no protection under Lebanon's infamous 'Kafala' employment system for foreign workers, migrant workers – most working in different domestic housekeeping jobs – are left particularly vulnerable in the face of crises like the coronavirus pandemic.
With the Lebanese government sitting idly, the ARM – now active for a decade – has become the last line of defence for thousands of migrant workers. Read more about its work here

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