Though the USA and several European nations have been hit with the most cases and even the most deaths, they have the capabilities to handle the pandemic and many have successfully begun to flatten the curve and give relief to their healthcare systems.
Countries that have been hit the hardest, therefore, are not those with the greatest number of cases, but with the least resources to handle the outbreak or provide services to their citizens. These countries include:
Yemen does not have the tools nor ability to detect, much less mitigate, the coronavirus. It is for this reason there are suspicions that the virus is silently spreading throughout the country undetected. Officially, they have one of the lowest official cases in the region. In reality, though, they have the lowest testing models.
However, Doctors Without Borders is on the scene, but their first obstacle had nothing to do with the virus itself. Rather, they had to convince medical staff that the virus existed and had to urge them to wear protective gear (PPE).
Yemen has performed less than 1,000 tests, but even with improved testing, war has decimated their healthcare systems, putting many of the 28 million citizens at extreme risk.
Syria is a war-ravaged country. ISIS is running rampant according to reports, and a lack of infrastructure has means that testing is sub-par, meaning the disease, like Yemen, is certainly spread silently through the nation even with lockdown in place. It is no wonder why, either. Despite a ceasefire, regions in Syria are still being shelled, and civilians are still under attack.
Between the war, famine, lack of shelter and the coronavirus, the statistics are alarming. 1 in 5 women are now acutely malnourished compared to the 1 in 20 statistic from just 2019, for example, which is just one of the facts that have experts warning that by the end of the year 265 million people will need humanitarian aid.
Iran’s delayed response has resulted in over 140,000 cases and 7,000 deaths as of the end of May. It has asked its international neighbors for a 5 billion USD loan to help mitigate the impact and provide relief to its peoples, but many international bodies are reluctant to do so.
This is for a few reasons, the first and foremost, as indicated by the experts at iranforeignpolicy.com, is that the likelihood this money will truly go towards humanitarian aid and relief to the citizens of Iran is unlikely, as even during the pandemic Iran is still steadfast in its bid to buy nuclear equipment and weaponry.
This belief stems from the fact that Iran and terrorist cells have both fuelled the conspiracy that the US is responsible for the spread of the coronavirus, causing dissent against the global leader and fuelling the rejection of humanitarian aid.
Global Response and Humanitarian Aid Efforts
Though there are relief funds being set up and aid being prepared where possible, the situation is dire. Oxfam is down its aid operations in 18 countries due to the financial hit it has experienced due to lockdown.
In good news, however, the UN has announced a $6.7 billion increase from its initial $2 billion estimate to provide humanitarian response. This is on top of the $28 billion in the existing fund.