As over 1,600 people in China have died due to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, the international evangelical humanitarian agency World Vision is spending millions to provide assistance to nearly 400,000 people in the midst of the deadly health crisis.
Sponsoring over 55,000 children and employing 300 staffers in China, World Vision is one of the largest humanitarian aid organizations operating in the country.
The organization remains concerned about the increasing rate of confirmed coronavirus cases as China reported at least 121 more deaths from the virus on Friday. The Chinese government reported Saturday that 1,665 people have died from the virus.
Erica Van Deren, World Vision program manager for humanitarian and emergency affairs, told The Christian Post that about 39,000 of World Vision’s sponsored children live in areas of China that are at “immediate risk” of the coronavirus.
However, she said that none of the World Vision sponsor children have contracted the virus.
“We’re working with our sponsor children and their families to make sure their families have the protective equipment that they need,” Van Deren said. “Then also [they need the] education and understanding of how they need to protect themselves from this and talk to kids about the fear and stress they may be having.”
World Vision aims to help 390,000 people in 10 Chinese provinces by distributing personal protective equipment and sanitation products that include facemasks, thermometers, sanitizers and soap.
The cost of World Vision’s coronavirus-related efforts in China is estimated to be about $3.7 million.
Van Deren said World Vision has already distributed 50,000 hospital-grade facemasks to people in five counties in four provinces.
“These are incredibly poor families,” she said. “World Vision China has a history of addressing the needs of these communities.”
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Samuel Smith