The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) warned Thursday of a “potentially devastating aftermath” from coronavirus outbreaks in countries including Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Gaza, Lebanon, and Jordan.
Millions of people in these nations already struggle with inadequate health care, food, water, and electricity, according to the agency, which fears further turmoil because of the pandemic.
“The Middle East is today facing the twin threats of potential mass virus outbreaks in conflict zones and looming socio-economic upheaval,” Fabrizio Carboni, director for the Near and Middle East, remarked. “Both crises could have severe humanitarian consequences.”
ICRC is already funneling disinfectant supplies and protective materials to health facilities and prison systems in the region but plans to ramp up support in the coming months to low-income workers, female-headed households, and other vulnerable populations.