The agencies have formed the Irish Emergency Alliance, which will jointly raise money from the Irish public and respond in countries facing rising coronavirus cases and already struggling to cope with the impact of conflict and displacement as well as widespread poverty, increased rates of hunger and poor health care.
The coronavirus appeal will focus on vulnerable communities in Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan, all coping with the impact of widescale conflict, as well as Ethiopia, Kenya, Lebanon and the Rohingya refugee camps of Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh.
These seven countries are home to more than 17 million refugees and displaced people.
For people living in refugee camps or slums it is nearly impossible to practice physical distancing, while a lack of soap and water in many homes makes it harder to prevent the spread of coronavirus.
Money raised by the Irish Emergency Alliance’s coronavirus appeal will go towards food, water and medical care as well as providing soap, masks and vital information to prevent the spread of the virus.
The Irish Emergency Alliance is made up of ActionAid, Christian Aid, Plan International, Self Help Africa, Tearfund and World Vision. Between them the aid agencies have programmes in 85 different countries, giving the Irish Emergency Alliance the global presence, expertise and experience required to respond quickly to this and future crises.
Helen Keogh, chair of the Irish Emergency Alliance, said the unprecedented scale of the global coronavirus pandemic motivated the six charities to come together to help those most in need.
“We have all seen the devastating impact of the coronavirus crisis in Ireland, so you can imagine how much harder it is for people living in countries without enough doctors or nurses let alone enough ICU beds or ventilators.
"In countries without the safety net of furlough schemes, many who lost their jobs during the pandemic are now struggling to feed their families.
"The situation is even more critical in countries already struggling with the impact of conflict and buckling under the strain of massive refugee and displacement crises."
Expressing his support for the Irish Emergency Alliance, Minister of State for Overseas Development Aid and Diaspora, Colm Brophy said:
“The coronavirus pandemic is a challenge unlike any other and what will define us is how we as a nation respond.
"I am proud to see these Irish agencies combining their strengths at this critical time to reach some of the most vulnerable people in the world."