As the virus spreads more widely, and more to the South, more people realize the particular challenges the informal settlements face in the current global crisis. Crowing, lack of public services, inadequate dwellings and violence are pictured in articles all around the word. And also, there have started to appear suggestions, lessons learned, good practices and spaces to share knowledge.

Below what I have found so far. The quotes that summarize the situation, and the links to the more interesting and inspired articles.

Here, “social distancing” means something very different than it does to Europeans or Americans. It is less about the physical space between people than the social space between the rich and poor that means only the privileged can maintain any kind of social isolation.

Coronavirus: Social distancing a distant dream in Africa’s slum

‘We are very afraid’: scramble to contain coronavirus in Mumbai slum

Slum life in time of coronavirus

Whether in the UK or the developing world, we’re not all in coronavirus together

Crowded Slums Pose Challenge as Kenya Braces for Coronavirus

Social distancing is a privilege of the middle class. For India’s slum dwellers, it will be impossible

Brazil’s densely packed favelas brace for coronavirus: ‘It will kill a lot of people.’

“But since the lockdown, most private water tankers have refused to come and when one does, it runs out of water fast because the entire locality is experiencing a shortage.”

Water access critical to beating back COVID-19 spread in slum areas

Under coronavirus lockdown, Delhi slum residents struggle to get water

Isolation is also hard when space is constrained and rooms are often shared

In slums and windowless apartments, Asia’s poor bear brunt of coronavirus

“Coronavirus is scary. We go to bed scared of what is going to happen tomorrow, who is going to be infected. But at least we fall asleep. When you watch your children struggling to sleep on an empty stomach, when they wake you up at 4am asking if it is time to eat yet, then you cannot sleep”

Coronavirus chases the slum dwellers of Latin America

‘No work, no food’: For Kibera dwellers, quarantine not an option

In the slums of Rio, communities have to choose between hunger and coronavirus

“We’re imposing a curfew because nobody is taking this seriously. Whoever is in the street screwing around or going for a walk will receive a corrective and serve as an example. Better to stay home doing nothing. The message has been given.”

Gangs call curfews as coronavirus hits Rio favelas

Faes desalojan por la fuerza a buhoneros y transeúntes de Petare

Security forces use violent tactics to enforce Africa’s coronavirus shutdowns

As major donors, international organizations, and national officials move forward with larger-scale responses, they should work closely with the poor and heed the lessons they have already learned and applied themselves.

Residents of the city's biggest slum Paraisopolis have hired a round-the-clock private medical service to fight the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in Sao Paulo

Mistrustful of state, Brazil slum hires own doctors to fight coronavirus

Lessons From Brazil’s Poor to Fight the Coronavirus

Coronavirus: Brazil’s favela residents organize to stop the spread

Favela Residents, Confined to Homes, Use Rooftops as Offices and Even Gyms

After 2 Deaths and in the Absence of the State, Dense Rocinha Mobilizes Against Covid-19

Brazilian rapper warns of coronavirus danger in Brazil’s slums

Policymakers need tailored rather than uniform approaches to tackling COVID-19 in informal settlements

How to Tackle Coronavirus in Slums

Mapping Mumbai’s slum challenge in coronavirus battle

How to Fight Coronavirus in Slums

Disinfecting Drones Used in India’s Slums to Fight Coronavirus

Coronavirus: Shofco establishes handwashing stations in Kibera

Series: Coronavirus in the Favelas

“Asentamientos precarios y vivienda social: impactos de la COVID-19 y respuestas”

 “Staying home is an act of love and respect.” However, social isolation will succeed only if it works hand in hand with social protection.

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