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  • Author or Editor: Jean-François de Lavison x
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Abstract

The COVID-19 crisis is affecting millions of lives and has wreaked some of its greatest havoc and suffering among the vulnerable and marginalised populations of the world, many of whom belong to religious and faith-based communities. In times of crisis and difficulty, religion and faith are a source of hope and strength for many. In this paper, we underscore the critical role and impact that some faith-based organisations have had in the pandemic crisis response and management of three countries: Brazil, Indonesia and Sri Lanka. In Brazil, Pastoral da Criança is leveraging their mobile phone application to fight mis-information about COVID-19. In Indonesia, Muhammadiyah launched a COVID-19 command centre to support treatment in hospitals, to disseminate guidelines for religious activities backed by science, and to provide water, sanitation and hygiene packages, food and financial support to the most vulnerable and neglected. In Sri Lanka, Sarvodaya is working closely with religious and community leaders on risk communication and community engagement messages and is also providing hygiene care and economic relief packages to the marginalised. We further discuss some of the challenges these organisations have faced and propose recommendations for greater engagement with this group of global public health actors to maximise their contributions and impact in the crisis management of and response to future infectious disease outbreaks, epidemics or pandemics in low-resource settings.

Open Access
In: Religion and Development