Covid 19 response: From conflict zones to crowded refugee camps
As the global Covid-19 pandemic extends it’s deadly tentacles around the world, we are working with our brilliant local partners to get aid and awareness to where it’s most needed – from conflict zones to crowded refugee camps.
Each of our partners has specific areas of expertise which we have utilised to be as effective as possible in mitigating against the spread of this disease.
Rohingya Refugees, Cox’s Bazaar, Bangladesh
We have been working to mitigate the impact of Covid-19 and slow the spread of the virus by running an awareness campaign, providing PPE and hygiene items and giving food packs to families who are unable to work due to lockdown. We are also supporting the local Bangladeshi community who are at risk.
Sadly the first confirmed case of Covid-19 amongst the Rohingya has now been reported. With a dense population and serious overcrowding, the disease is expected to spread quickly.
Handwashing and social distancing information.
With widespread misinformation regarding the outbreak and how to prevent it, partly owing to a government shutdown of telecommunications in the camp, we are publishing leaflets and signs and distributing items that enable households to maintain good hygiene practices.
Our partner is ISDE Bangladesh.
We are working with our partner Metta Development Foundation in areas close to the border with China where there are 12,000 Internally Displaced People (IDPs) in 173 camps. As this is a non-government controlled area, the residents are excluded from national prevention activities, suffer from poor sanitation and lack good access to health and hygiene.
We are providing water and sanitation facilities in camps to reach around 800 people. We are also distributing personal hygiene materials such as soap to around 500 households and delivering food supplies to approx. 400 of the most vulnerable households.
Conflict zone, eastern Ukraine
The armed conflict between Russian backed separatists and Ukraine continues with almost daily reports of shelling. There is high percentage of elderly people in this area as many of the younger generation have fled. Healthcare is already compromised is the region as a result of the conflict, and hospitals have little or no access to basic PPE or cleaning materials. If Covid-19 reaches this zone, it is likely to become a hotspot very quickly.
Working with our partner Save Ukraine we have provided one local hospital with basic care items including 400 medical masks for doctors and 3,000 disposable masks for patients. We are also distributing disinfectant and hand sanitiser.
We are also distributing food packages to 200 households of older people or single headed families and families with many children, with sufficient supplies to last for two months.
Beneficiary prior to lockdown
Haiti has been identified as seriously at risk to Covid-19 due to being the poorest country in the western Hemisphere, prone to natural disasters and with high levels of illiteracy. Government guidance to stay at home is difficult to adhere to as most Haitians’ rely on the informal economy to make a living. 60 percent of the population lives on less than $2 a day. In addition there are reported to be just 20 working ventilators for a country of 11 million.
Following our response to the 2010 Earthquake and 2016 Hurricane, we are once again working with our partners KORAL and Haiti Survie to reach at-risk communities by raising awareness about Covid-19 and by providing handwashing stations.
Our information campaign in Southern Haiti utilises radio broadcasts and includes trucks with loudspeakers going village-to-village to deliver key messages of disease prevention as well as targeted messaging for elderly and people living with chronic diseases.
On the border with the Dominican Republic, considered a hotspot for Covid-19 transmission, we have installed 100 handwashing stations in market places, bus stations and points of public gathering. We have also provided 100 five gallon water units for use in rural areas in the North of Haiti. Among these beneficiaries 55% will be women, head of households. We are delivering food parcels to 70 of the most vulnerable families in the region and we are conducting a door-to-door information campaign.
We are also working in Mozambique providing portable handwashing stations. Watch this video for a snapshot of our activities there:
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