As the COVID-19 pandemic spreads around the world, tea farmers, workers and their families are facing unprecedented disruption and uncertainty. Vulnerable tea communities need our support more than ever.
The outbreak has posed many threats. Rural tea communities need to be alerted to the latest advice on how best to protect themselves and others. Improving access to handwashing facilities and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), such as face masks, is critical – both to limit the virus’ spread, and to allow tea farmers and workers to return to work, in line with their governments’ legislations. It is now harder and more expensive for families to get basic necessities, such as food.
By closely monitoring the situation on the ground, where appropriate we have quickly adapted our programmes to most effectively support tea communities globally. We are addressing sanitation, health and nutrition needs and helping to build economic resilience. Our work means that vulnerable communities are better able to adapt to this pandemic, and future shocks.
So far, our response has reached close to 1 million people, across key tea regions in five countries: India, Kenya, Malawi, Rwanda and Sri Lanka.
Our COVID-19 response
To date, our response to the COVID-19 pandemic has focused on three pillars of activity:
In Spring 2021, we worked with the Indian Tea Association to support those most at risk in Assam, India's tea communities through an emergency appeal.
Going beyond our front-line response, we are also working on longer-term measures to protect vulnerable communities.