UPDATE: COVID-19 and Partner Communities

As the novel coronavirus continues to spread globally, you may be worried for the people and communities you care about and support through Food for the Hungry (FH). As of April 2, 2020, total global cases of COVID-19 surpassed 1,000,000—more than doubling within the past week. These are uncertain times.

For families stuck in poverty, uncertainty is a part of daily life. The margin of safety has always been minimal. For them, this makes the current pandemic all the more concerning.

Food for the Hungry is keeping a close eye on partner communities. There have been no confirmed cases in the communities we work with or among our own international staff. But as the number of confirmed cases rises, this pandemic could have a devastating effect on those living in these communities. Partner communities are already experiencing a disturbance in their day-to-day living, like the rest of the world. 

Novel coronavirus as viewed by a microscope. Photo credit: The US National Institutes of Health (February 2020)

Since partnering with FH, each community has worked toward improving access to clean water and promoting hygiene practices. Disaster risk reduction plans were put in place to help them withstand hardship. Because of work supported by Canadians like you, partner communities are better positioned to cope with stress on their healthcare systems, a down-turn in the economy, and possible food shortages. Yet, in the face of the COVID-19 crisis, these communities are still vulnerable.

Life may drastically change for families in our partner communities. Please keep them in your prayers. As markets close and medical centres become strained, it is imperative we help them weather this storm.

Scroll further for updates by country

Help Families Respond to COVID-19


(listed alphabetically)(as of April 2, 2020)

FH’s local staff are monitoring the situation closely and are providing updates regularly. With your help, FH is walking with partner communities as they try to adapt to the new realities of COVID-19.  

At this time, access to information from community leaders and in-country staff is more limited than usual. Our team is doing its best to keep the following updates relevant.


FH staff in Bangladesh are working from home on a rotating basis so as to limit in-office contact, and have limited programming to only what is essential. FH staff are engaging with the communities by phone.

The government has banned arrivals from COVID-19 hotspot countries who do not have medical certificates indicating that they are not infected with COVID-19. They have also reduced border crossing with India. All arrivals are required to quarantine for 14 days regardless of nationality or traveler type.

One case of coronavirus has tested positive in the Cox's bazar refugee camp. Although they are not technically a partner community, Food for the Hungry does provide the refugee camp with relief aid.


FH Burundi are continuing with only essential programs deemed low-risk for the health and safety of community members and staff. Staff are working from home.

Burundi confirmed its first 2 cases on March 31. The border to Rwanda is closed, and the government has banned arrivals from COVID-19 hotspot countries. 


FH Cambodia has limited programming to home visits only. They’ve postponed all training events, workshops, and meetings. FH staff are working from home and communicate with communities by phone.

The Cambodian government is denying arrivals from COVID-19 hotspot countries. They’ve closed all schools and universities across the country and banned gatherings in churches, mosques, and temples. 


FH Ethiopia's focus is on making sure that key programs and services continue as much as possible without putting staff, their families, and our beneficiary communities at risk. 

The government has closed schools and suspended public gatherings of any kind for the time being. 


FH Guatemala staff now work from home to ensure COVID-19 does not spread from urban centres into the communities. Many activities in partner communities are suspended until further notice in the interest of healthy social distancing.

Meanwhile the Guatemalan government has closed all schools and has closed their international borders to all foreigners until at least the end of March. All non-essential businesses have been shut down. A national curfew has been instituted from 4pm to 4am in order to contain the current cases within Guatemala.


FH Haiti staff are doing their best to monitor the situation in partner communities through their regional offices. Schools and community activities have all been suspended.

Most inbound travel has been restricted, limited to a choice list of nationalities, and the country has also closed its border to the Dominican Republic. The government has also closed all schools and factories to minimize exposure. The government has implemented a national curfew from 10pm to 5am.


FH workshops and training events such as cooking and farming demonstrations have been postponed, as per instructions from the local Rwandan government. However, other activities deemed lower-risk for group or personal contact are able to continue for now.

Rwanda has closed its borders, restricting all incoming travellers but doing what it can to maintain supply lines with other countries. Travel within the country is not permitted except for essential services. All citizens have been urged to stay home, and the government is also limiting domestic travel, as coronavirus cases remain low and localized to the capital.


FH Uganda staff are continuing with essential programming while remaining cautious about the health and well-being of community members and staff.The graduation ceremony for Marare and Nashisa will be postponed until things stabilize.

The government has banned public gatherings as a precaution. All travellers arriving from international locations are subject to a two week quarantine.

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Updates provided as of April 2, 2020. FH Canada staff are in regular communication with other FH international offices and will update the above information as information becomes available.



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Food for the Hungry: UPDATE: COVID-19 and Partner Communities
UPDATE: COVID-19 and Partner Communities
Food for the Hungry
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