They can't be allowed to lose hope. Many of them are lining up to catch a boat or a plane to parts of their island country that are still intact.
What does allow mean in this context? Here they refers to the people who survived an earthquake and are waiting for rescue.
To me, it seems that whether they would lose hope or not is not something that can be allowed. They have there free will to lose hope. My interpretation of this sentence is that they should not be further disappointed and then lose hope. Is my understanding correct? And further, in what other context can I use this word or phrase, if any, in a similar way? Just a few explanations or examples would be helpful for me to understand it and may be able to use it.