COVID19 brought the country to a halt, as our invisible enemy advances rapidly, bringing down even the healthiest among us. While the whole nation is indebted with overwhelming gratitude to all our front liners who are risking their lives for all of us, we remember those who have always been left vulnerable even without the COVID19 crisis.
“The current crisis we are facing has brought an increased demand for food assistance. People might die of hunger instead of the virus.”Jomar Fleras, Executive Director – Rise Against Hunger Philippines
More than 85 children in the Philippines die of hunger daily. While the country is in strict quarantine, children with no homes are left in the streets or make-shift spaces. Even without the quarantine, these children lack the daily nutrition and caloric requirements, forced to beg for food. This scenario is now made worse by the COVID 19 pandemic.
Closed businesses mean that many unpaid employees or informal workers are directly experiencing financial crunch leading to food insecurity for families, as a significant percentage of Filipinos still depend on daily wage earning to provide for their daily needs. Meanwhile, Jomar also stresses the impact of closed schools to children, “Closed schools are reducing children’s access to school breakfast and lunch programs.” While the quarantive are effective measures to reduce the vulnerability of senior citizens to COVID 19, they face a different risk of lack of food supply and immobility. “Disrupted supply chains and panic buying mean that food prices are higher than usual, reducing food access for vulnerable people,” raised Jomar.
Throughout the country, Rise Against Hunger Philippines continues to mobilize food and life-saving aid distribution to those most vulnerable. Along with partners and donors, they have distributed food packs to underserved members of our communities through the help of LalaMovePH. Partners like MondeNissin donated 103,350 bottles of Dutch Mill probiotic drinks of which 28,850 have been distributed to the front liners of Dr. Jose Fabella Memorial Hospital, Dr. Jose Reyes Memorial medical Center, San Lazaro Hospital, Tondo Medical Center, Dr. Jose Rodriguez Memorial Hospital, San Lorenzo Ruiz General Hsopital and Valenzuela Medical Center.
The bayanihan spirit of the Filipino people remains very strong especially during times of crisis. As we all pray for our country to RISE ABOVE COVID19, let’s not forget our vulnerable brothers and sisters, who urgently need to RISE AGAINST HUNGER today, in order to RISE ABOVE COVID19 tomorrow.