COVID-19 Response Appeal

How do you ‘stay at home’ when it’s not safe?

Whilst the timing of responses to the COVID-19 pandemic has varied, governments around the world have been consistent in calling on citizens to stay safe by staying at home.

For too many people staying home isn’t safe. 1.8 billion people worldwide live in grossly inadequate housing; often in overcrowded conditions, lacking access to water and sanitation – making them particularly vulnerable.

“Housing has become the front line defence against the coronavirus. Home has rarely been more of a life or death situation,” said Leilani Farha, UN Special Rapporteur on the right to adequate housing.

Housing is critical in breaking the cycle of poverty. Safe homes do save lives. That has always been the truth of it but it could be that this crisis reveals that truth more clearly as we all try to keep our families and communities safe.

Our teams around the world are urgently working to implement COVID response plans to help those most in need.

We are providing hygiene kits for slum dwellers in India, supporting slum communities in Addis Ababa with WASH and community training, helping medical teams in Indonesia access emergency accommodation, and in Romania we will accelerate the building of an emergency centre so that doctors and paramedics will be able to serve their community safely. Read more about how Habitat is addressing the need in the most vulnerable communities during these unprecedented times.