COVID-19: Is it a ticking time bomb for refugee camps?

The UK, like many countries across the globe, is living through the COVID-19 pandemic. It has brought so much misery to so many. Here though we have certain things we can take for granted; things that have played a major role in our lives over the past weeks.

Yemen Refugee CrisisHere, we have access to limitless safe water for drinking, washing ourselves and our food. Here, we can isolate and keep our 2-metre social distance. Here we have the NHS.

Children such as those pictured in Yemen, their families, and countless others in refugee camps across the world are not so fortunate. If COVID-19 arrives, it will have a devastating impact on both the refugees and their host communities – a ticking time bomb (1).

Refugee camps are already over-crowded with little or no safe water to drink and wash in. If available, 20 seconds of running water to wash hands would use up vital drinking supplies. People live in flimsy shelters and are not afforded the privilege of isolation and the luxury of social distancing. Cholera and other water-borne diseases are often endemic. There is no NHS.

International agencies (2) believe it is simply a matter of time before COVID-19 reaches the camps. The virus has now reached war-torn Syria (3) and has started to affect a community already weakened by conflict. A top priority is access to clean water, essential for drinking and to maintain personal hygiene.

For almost 30 years, Aquabox, has responded to just such emergencies as these – only recently it successfully shipped and distributed its third container of aid to Yemen and has a history of working with relief agencies, for example in Syria and Bangladesh (Rohingya refugees).

Aquabox aims to quickly provide safe water at the point of need. It supplies water filters for families and small communities. The filters convert contaminated and dangerous water into safe water by removing disease -causing organisms.

To continue its life-saving work and expand its reach, Aquabox needs funds to be able help more people who are facing such humanitarian crises as the COVID-19 virus. We need your support.

Please help us if you can – you can make a donation to Aquabox through this website.


(1) Action Against Hunger
(2) International Rescue Committee
(3) Save The Children, UNHCR