COVID-19 and stories of solidarity

The pandemic has ravaged our communities, killing 4.8 million people* worldwide and worsening existing economic and social inequalities.

COVID-19 has a bigger impact on low income communities across the world, and the same is true for climate change.**

Solidarity and mutual aid have long been a crucial response to climate disasters like flooding, hurricanes and failed harvests, especially in less well off communities. During COVID-19, they have proven to be fundamental for everyone. 

The world has seen the reality that collective, community-led care saves lives. We’ve discovered the best parts of our communities and the power of people to do good when we work together and lift each other up. Stories of Solidarity is a series of animations bringing to life responses to adversity, focussing on community need.

*Johns Hopkins University, national public health agencies. Figures last updated 4 October 2021
**IPCC, 2007: Climate Change 2007: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability

In neighbourhoods across Uruguay, community soup kitchens responded to one of the most visible consequences of COVID-19: hunger. They offered more than 8 million meals using produce from local, agroecological farms. 

Agroecology is a way of producing food sustainably, organically and in harmony with nature. It forms part of a wider social movement to build food sovereignty and oppose industrial farming. 

Photograph: © Edgardo Mattioli/Real World Radio

Two young women farmers kneeling down on the ground and tending to farming duties.

Communities in Uruguay set up food collectives to share seeds and knowledge to grow their own food.

Knowing that I had some seeds and didn't need to wait for seeds to arrive from other places in the world gave me a sense of calm during the pandemic.

– Mariá del Pilar Morales, Paso a Paso farm, Pando


Photograph: © Edgardo Mattioli/Real World Radio

When COVID-19 hit, El Salvador’s food supply declined, but around 300 families from the municipality of Santa Clara in San Vicente department were able to harvest their own vegetables grown through agroecological methods. 

The Movement of People Affected by Climate Change and Corporations, together with communities, is pushing for a law to promote agroecology as a food production system that is more socially just and able to withstand future crises. 

On 14 March 2020, lockdown began in Spain. Open-air markets were closed, while supermarkets stayed open. #SOSCampesinado (“S.O.S. small farmers”) was a call by Spain’s network of women for agroecology to demand public food supplies be purchased from local producers. 

Photograph: © Olmo Calvo/Friends of the Earth Spain

A woman feeding a herd of chickens outdoors
A rally taking place on the road with people holding banners. One says 'por la visa en san marcos no a los agrotox'

El Salvador. Photograph: © CESTA/Friends of the Earth

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