The International Day of Families is observed on the 15th of May every year. The day reflects the importance of families, provides an opportunity to promote awareness of issues relating to families, and increases knowledge of the social, economic and demographic processes affecting families.

Family is everything. On this year’s International Day of Families we extend our deepest sympathies to the many families who have tragically lost loved ones as a result of COVID-19.

At Carers Worldwide we have always recognised the importance of families and the incredible work that carers to do to protect the wellbeing of their families. The current COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of families and carers on the global stage and amplified the need to ensure that social policies protect the most vulnerable individuals among us.

In the communities where we work, carers are hard-hit with the threat of COVID-19. They are anxious for themselves and their loved-ones, as they care for highly vulnerable individuals, many of whom are at increased risk of being seriously affected by the virus if they catch it. Besides the immediate threat of the virus itself, the economic slump that the virus is causing means that existing poverty levels will deepen.

“I am worried for my family, especially for my daughter who has a disability. How will we survive the COVID-19 outbreak?”

Nipa Begum, carer from Savar, Bangladesh

As the world continues its efforts to respond to the COVID-19 crisis, it provides us all with a new opportunity to think about how society can function to promote equality for all its members. It is essential that all local, national and international actors find ways to support the most vulnerable families which includes those who have lost their income; those with young children, older persons, and persons with disabilities/long-term illness; as well as the carers who tirelessly care for their family members.

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