COVID-19: Solidarity at the heart of the Indian Ocean

While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread around the world, islands in the Indian Ocean have witnessed a huge wave of solidarity. Indeed, several projects and initiatives have been flourishing to get through this bad patch. Here are some of them.

The COI on the forefront

Besides helping in managing positive cases, the AFD (the French Development Agency), in close collaboration with the COI (Commission de l’Océan Indien), has launched numerous awareness and prevention campaigns across the region. Additionally, a contribution of 500,000 EUR has been allocated to set up isolation and quarantine centres in the Comoros archipelago and in Madagascar (as these countries have less specialised health systems). Projects like building new structures for the health sector and entrusting them with protective equipment– ambulances and thermal cameras–have been considered to promote more effective measures against the pandemic.

Mutual support in Reunion Island

Aiming to support and assist the most vulnerable people, numerous initiatives expressing solidarity and compassion have arisen. Many companies (namely CoTrans Automobiles, ITC Tropicar, Rent a Car, or even have offered free-of-charge cars to the island’s healthcare staff. Concierge services have provided free assistance to senior citizens (The Private Butler, for instance, runs errands for the elderly and people with reduced mobility in the region of Saint-Gilles to Saint-Denis). As for production and distribution of masks across the island, it is on the rise.

Malagasy Solidarity

Despite the damaging effects of COVID-19, many positive solidarity actions – are taking shape after the pandemic. Among the initiatives: shopping and distributing food to the most underprivileged, for instance within the Anosizato centre, and distribution of hydro-alcoholic gels in the districts of Antananarivo. Furthermore, President Andry Rajoelina has decided to grant a special fund to the country’s medical staff. He believes that they are the real heroes during this health crisis. 

The watchwords during the pandemic: mutual support and solidarity…