Abayudaya COVID-19 Fund

Help the Abayudaya community survive the pandemic.


Update 5/11/20: We are delighted to announce that the first COVID-19 food distribution was mobilized on Sunday, May 10, 2020. The Abayudaya community distributed $2,000 worth of food from this campaign to the Abayudaya villages. Additionally, as a member of Parliament, Rabbi Gershom Sizomu delivered over $6,000 in food donations to the Mbale district task force to be distributed to the most vulnerable in the Mbale region. More funds are urgently needed.

As everywhere else, the global coronavirus crisis is paralyzing African metropolises. In Uganda’s otherwise lively capital Kampala, markets and shops remain closed. Only a few boda bodas (motorbike taxis) run the streets. The motorbikes are no longer permitted to carry passengers but are instead being used for delivery services and running errands.

The national coronavirus lockdown has translated into a sharp increase in levels of poverty and malnutrition. Africa faces a ‘hunger pandemic’ as coronavirus destroys jobs and fuels poverty. People are desperate and such desperation could worsen as job losses mount and incomes plunge due to a coronavirus-induced recession, with countries in sub-Saharan Africa particularly at risk of spikes in poverty and hunger.

The world is “on the brink of a hunger pandemic”, David Beasley, head of the United Nations’ World Food Programme, told the U.N. Security Council this week. Globally, 135 million people are facing acute food shortages and the coronavirus could increase this by another 130 million by year-end, he said. “In a worst-case scenario, we could be looking at famine in about three dozen countries,” he added.

Many Abayudaya, like other Africans, live hand to mouth. Market closures and rising prices mean the amount of food poor people can buy has reduced. Plus there is difficulty accessing seeds and fertilizers, hurting farmers and traders. They no longer have enough to eat and families are fighting for survival. People are wondering what will kill them first, hunger or COVID-19.

As many are aware, the Abayudaya live door-to-door among their Christian and Muslim neighbors. Therefore, we are distributing corn meal and basic supplies to the Abayudaya villages and their neighbors.

Donate now to help save the lives of fellow Jews and their neighbors in Uganda. For over a decade, Be’chol Lashon has partnered with the Abayudaya in a variety of health initiatives that help them, as well as their Christian and Muslim neighbors. To help with the COVID-19 related crisis, make a tax-deductible donation below.

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