SEATTLE — COVID-19 has upended the lives of many vulnerable groups in Thailand such as migrants, ethnic minorities, poor households and the homeless. These groups often face shortages of hygiene products, medical care and other essential services. But although Thailand faces economic and health crises, there are many organizations that seek to help the country’s most vulnerable fight the virus. Below are four organizations aiding Thailand against COVID.
UNICEF has partnered with organizations such as USAID to protect vulnerable populations in Thailand. A sum of $700,000 has been given to UNICEF by the international development agency to fight against the effects of the virus. UNICEF is also actively working with the Royal Thai Government and other local organizations to provide aid to non-Thai migrant workers in the country.
For example, their partnership with the Raks Thai Foundation in Thailand resulted in the distribution of health information to 120,000 migrant and ethnic communities across 22 Thailand provinces. UNICEF’s partnerships are also providing mental health counseling and resources to continue education for the youth in vulnerable communities. Child protection also remains a key effort of UNICEF as it distributed digital thermometers to 3,000 child development centers and schools in Thailand.
UNICEF also donated 5 million bahts worth of testing reagents to one of Thailand’s main public health institutions, the Bamrasnaradura Infectious Diseases Institute (BIDI). The testing regents help to strengthen the institute’s virus-testing system, increasing its testing capacity for the people of Thailand.
PepsiCo Thailand has donated 18 million bahts ($550,000) to implement aid for people most affected by COVID. They have started the project “Give for Hope” which provides three forms of aid to different groups. The first form of aid is Give Meals Give Hope, which distributes over 1 million meals to people in need for 3 months. The second initiative, Give Care to Farmers, supplies health goods and insurance to more than 3,900 farmers affected by COVID-19. Give Care to Healthcare is the third project that donates funds and medical equipment to help Thailand’s hospitals fight the virus.
Unilever Thailand has taken part in two large donations to help Thailand fight COVID. The first initiative partnered with UNICEF in providing more than 150,000 hand sanitizers and bars of soap to vulnerable families and children. The effort seeks to promote personal care and hygiene during the pandemic. According to UNICEF reports, hand sanitizers and soaps are largely distributed to “vulnerable children and young people living in welfare and protection centres, residential care institutions and those accessing migrant learning centres, juvenile observation and protection centres and juvenile training centres, as well as early childhood development centres and schools”
Unilever Thailand also donated “100,000 Vaseline hand sanitizers, 200,000 Comfort and Seventh Generation detergents and 700,00 Knorr Jok and Cup Pastas”, according to Bangkok Post. The donation focused on the wellbeing of frontline doctors and staff, allowing for more testing and treatment of vulnerable patients.
Jungle Aid Foundation
The Jungle Aid Foundation focuses on providing medical care, supplies, clothing, and education to Thailand’s poor. They currently have three projects in the Thailand communities of Bang Saphan, Bon Luk and Pala U, which are rural communities that lack protection from COVID-19. The Jungle Aid Foundation created an initiative called the Social Coin during the pandemic to help local farmers and the hungry. The project involves social coin vouchers in which the needy use to trade for food such as fish, vegetables, rice, or eggs at a local market. Jungle Aid volunteers also deliver food packages to people who have lost their job or source of income.
Although COVID-19 has negatively impacted Thailand, the four organizations above seek to provide aid and support to the vulnerable. Whether it be donating large amounts of hygiene products or providing virus information to poor communities, Thailand has seen generous amounts of aid.
– Silvia Huang