Six well-known charities have joined forces to make a public appeal for help in tackling Covid-19 in some of the world's poorest countries.

The newly-formed Irish Emergency Alliance is hoping to raise funds to fight the pandemic in seven countries across Africa, the Middle East and Asia.

Siobhan McGee, Chief Executive of ActionAid Ireland, told RTÉ's Morning Ireland that the organisations decided by working together they could have a greater impact.

She said the needs in the countries they are supporting are huge with curfews and shutdowns impacting on many people's ability to work and earn a living.

This has left many facing hunger and enhanced poverty.

Ms McGee said the countries chosen - Kenya, Ethiopia, Democratic Republic of Congo, South Sudan, Lebanon, Afghanistan and Bangladesh - all have weak health services and limited testing for Covid-19.

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In Lebanon, there are 300,000 people homeless as well as an ongoing Syrian refugee crisis.

She said that both South Sudan and the DRC are close to famine and up to 250 million people are facing hunger in the coming weeks.

The organisation is appealing to those who can to support its work.

Ms McGee said the Irish Emergency Alliance has registered with the charities regulator and will be accountable and transparent about its work.