Dublin legend Michael Darragh Macauley has huge concerns about some of the world’s poorest people living in slums and refugee camps as they face the threat of Covid-19.
he Ballyboden St Enda’s star is an ambassador for the international aid agency Concern Worldwide which has launched its first global appeal, incorporating its offices in Dublin, New York, London and Seoul to help combat the virus in the developing world.
He previously visited Kenya and Iraq where he saw how Irish donations are changing lives for the better.
“Having seen the conditions that these people are living in, in both the refugee camps of Iraq and the slums of Kenya, I would have huge concerns for these peoples’ welfare. Most are in survival mode as it is and it’s terrifying to think about what this pandemic will add to the situation,” he said.
“These people got dealt a bad hand just by the nature of where they were born, they don’t need a global pandemic on top of it all.
“I know a huge amount of people in Ireland are experiencing a significant amount of extra stress as a result of what’s going on, but it’s important to still think of yourself as a global citizen and keep those most in need in mind,” he said.
The 33-year-old previously worked as a primary teacher, before joining Dublin’s North East Inner City regeneration project.
The All-Ireland winner said last year that his trip to Iraq with Concern had a huge impact on him in terms of understanding the humanitarian crisis facing the Syrian people.
“It put a human face to the tragedy for me,” he recalled.
Meanwhile, aid workers are engaging closely with governments and departments of health in all 23 countries of operation to ensure Covid-19 prevention messaging is consistent, “but we all have a part to play in preventing a global disaster,” according to Concern CEO Dominic MacSorley.
“This is a crisis unlike anything we have seen before. It is the first time we are gearing all of our programme countries up to face the same emergency.
"Not only are the poorest countries facing Covid-19, but they are also facing the very real possibility of financial destruction and widespread hunger as a result,” he said.
He said that Concern's field staff in areas such as Bangladesh, Haiti and Syria already face huge challenges, and are responding to this latest crisis with great bravery.
Mr MacSorley pointed out the Covid-19 pandemic is also coinciding with the worst locust infestation in east Africa and parts of Asia in decades.
The second wave of insects are currently voraciously eating their way through crops and pastureland in east Africa. The numbers are 20 times greater than the first wave of locusts earlier this year. As they eat crops, the locusts are laying eggs for a third wave.