1st October marks the International Day of Older Persons, on which UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres comments:
“The COVID-19 pandemic is causing untold fear and suffering for older people across the world. Beyond its immediate health impact, the pandemic is putting older people at greater risk of poverty, discrimination and isolation. It is likely to have a particularly devastating impact on older people in developing countries.”UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres
The year 2020 marks the 75th Anniversary of the United Nations and the 30th Anniversary of the International Day of Older Persons. This year has also seen an emergence of COVID-19, that has caused an upheaval across the world. Considering the higher risks confronted by older persons during the outbreak of pandemics such as COVID-19, policy and programmatic interventions must be targeted towards raising awareness of their special needs. Recognizing older persons contributions to their own health and the multiple roles they play in the preparedness and response phases of current and future pandemics is also important.
To this end, Survivors Fund (SURF), in partnership with AVEGA Agahozo is working tirelessly to provide support to older survivors facing hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. With the support of Clifford Chance through our COVID-19 Emergency Response Project (CERP), we are extending support to vulnerable survivors, particularly the elderly, to phone-based counselling, and immediate nutritional support in the form of direct cash transfers to buy food, reinforced by distribution of livestock to older survivors particularly.
We are specifically targeting vulnerable older survivors whose health and psychological wellbeing has been affected because they cannot find food for themselves and their dependants making them vulnerable and susceptible to a state of depression and weakened immunity that if not checked now may result into fatal outcomes.
As such, we recognise and acknowledge the importance of providing support to older persons in particular need of support as a result of COVID-19 on this important ocassion of the International Day of Older Persons.