Pakistan: hunger followed by an economic crisis?

by Julia Kittnar,  2020/04/27

„I could not find a job today due to the Corona virus – everything was locked down.“ With this sentence a Pakistani father greets his family in a comic of our partner PAK Mission Society (PMS). All this just a bad joke? Unfortunately not: this sentence illustrates how widely Covid-19 has spread into the lives of the Pakistani population.

As the health care system is lacking personnel as well as infrastructure the Pakistani government has enacted a lockdown to protect the population from the virus. Many people live together in cramped conditions. Three to five people share only one room. In such housing situations the danger of infection is high.

Many people live together in cramped conditions: in the event of a Corona virus outbreak it is most difficult to avoid infection here. Photo: PMS

Even so these measures are important, for a big part of the people they do not only mean restrictions in their personal environment, but also the loss of their jobs. Already before Pakistan had to deal with a lot of economic challenges: slowed down exports, an increasingly devaluated currency, subsequent unemployment.

Furthermore, more than one quarter of the population earn their money my doing physical work, many people job at domestic settings for example as cleaners. For them this crisis is especially hard. They rarely find jobs in households now due to the widespread fear of infection. Without social insurance that means the loss of their income, their livelihood. Without any money they are not even able to buy something to eat.

humedica and the partner PMS help in this difficult situation by offering money for food and hygiene articles as well as by providing information on how to avoid COVID-19 contamination. Till date they were able to help approximately 200 families. It is planned that in total about 10,000 families benefit from the PMS relief measures.

Besides helping financially, another focus is on informing people. Many of them do not understand abstract safety distance guidelines. Therefore, PMS has already shot two information videos to make the topic more tangible.

The organization counts on these measures and the networking of aid organizations in order to mitigate the effects of the Corona virus in the country as best as possible. We hope that also humedica can contribute to this aim.

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