A Note from Richard Walden on Responding to Disasters During a Pandemic
May 22, 2020
Disasters never stop, even in the middle of a pandemic.
Operation USA is currently monitoring several natural disasters around the world, including Typhoon Vongfong, which hit the Philippines last week, and ongoing flooding in the Midwest United States. We’re also bracing for what experts say will be a dangerous hurricane season, and are preparing for likely wildfires and mudslides here in California and around the world later this year.
As much of the world’s attention remains focused on the spread of COVID-19—and as the global economy takes a hit because of the pandemic—we know that any major disaster that occurs in the coming months is likely to be far more deadly and damaging, with far less support from outside communities, than we’ve seen before. After 40 years in the field we know that women, children and the elderly—the same vulnerable groups being hardest hit by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic—will face the greatest impact. We fear that in some already-vulnerable communities where disasters are likely to strike, there will be a sharp decline in relief donations as the ongoing pandemic has exhausted our collective hearts, minds and wallets.
We know that the state of our country and the world is challenging for so many of you right now, and we hope you know that we are working diligently to meet as many needs in as many places as possible. We also hope you’ll consider, if you’re able, investing in Operation USA right now so that when disaster strikes, we’re ready to quickly deploy relief and recovery support where it’s most needed. As you know, we don’t take government funds, so our ability to scale up our work around the world is entirely dependent on donors like you.
I encourage you to visit us at opusa.org/news
to learn more about the work we’re doing to combat the spread of COVID-19, protect frontline workers and mitigate the effects of the pandemic on vulnerable communities. There you’ll also find comprehensive information on all our disaster relief work around the world since 1979, and learn how you can give and get involved in future projects.
All of us here at OpUSA are so grateful for your continued investment in our work. We can’t do this without you.
President & CEO