Published on 19 August 2020
As coronavirus continues to spread throughout the world and our daily lives are changed beyond recognition, Christian Aid and our partners are still reaching out to the most vulnerable and hardest to reach communities.
On World Humanitarian Day we are honouring the tireless efforts of our local partners. They are overcoming unprecedented hurdles to provide life-saving support and protection to those who need it most.
Our #RealLifeHeroes are #LocalHeroes
Working through local partners is central to our emergency response project in Afghanistan and Nigeria, which is funded by UK Aid.
The project focuses on the hardest to reach communities whose lives have been impacted by conflict. Local partners with established relationships and trust in the communities have been able to make an impact quickly.
Our local partner, Afghans 4 Tomorrow (A4T), are providing accurate information about the virus and supplying water, sanitation, hygiene, food and cash support to cope with the immediate effects of coronavirus.
In our UK Aid funded rapid response project in Nigeria and Afghanistan, we are working through local organisations, community influencers, such as faith leaders, who are trusted and embedded in communities. This means we can connect with the hardest to reach people.
In Benue state, Nigeria, our local partner Community Links and Human Empowerment Initiative are providing essential items to communities who have been affected by conflict.
Our local partner Social Initiative for Democracy (ISD) are providing food and accurate information about coronavirus to remote communities in Community El Pinalito, in the municipality of Arambala.
Restrictions on movement has meant that people cannot get out to work. ISD are also training people in demanding their rights and advocate for changes in policies that affect them.
We are providing an effective sense of support to communities which is vital for their mental health in times of struggle.
- Dina Gutiérrez .
Northern Bahr el Ghazal state is one South Sudan's most affected regions by food insecurity and seasonal flooding that has destroyed many people's livelihoods.
With funding from Irish Aid, our partner Support for Peace and Education Development Program (SPEDP) aims to protect and empower vulnerable communities who have been affected by conflict. They have reached 11,600 people with accurate messages on the importance of physical distancing and regular handwashing to prevent the spread of coronavirus. These health messages have also been reaching people during distributions of seeds and farming equipment by the partner.
Cox’s Bazar, Rohingya camps
In the Rohingya refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, our local partner Dhaka Ahsania Mission (DAM) is continuing to treat Rohingya refugees in the camps while building awareness about coronavirus.
The camps are in lockdown due to the pandemic, making daily life even harder for the people who live there.
During this crisis moment, I continue my humanitarian service in spite of risk of my life. Besides prescribing medicine to my patients, I try to build up awareness about COVID -19 among the community and ensure safety of my staff
- Dr. Mohammad Aowfee Khan.
In North West Syria, Christian Aid’s local partner has set up 3 First Aid volunteer groups. They have provided training on coronavirus and raised awareness of regular hand washing and physical distancing to prevent the spread of the virus.
Many migrant laborers returned to their native villages due to COVID-19. Much of the country shut down and people could not work. This created a crisis as people struggled to access to their most basic needs. Through our local partner, Church’s Auxiliary for Social Action (CASA, India), we have been able to support rural communities with dry food rations, hygiene kits and seeds for farmers. CASA also delivers awareness sessions on preventive and protective measures from coronavirus and government schemes for migrant laborers.
With funding from Irish Aid, Christian Aid’s local partners in Northern Shan and Rakhine states have distributed soap to over 30,000 people as well as demonstrated thorough hand washing techniques. They have been sharing information on considerate coughing and the need for family members returning from abroad to self-quarantine for 14 days.
Our partner Green Life Alliance for Development (GLAD) are working with Myanmar Red Cross Society (MRCS) in Namtu township in Northern Shan State where people have been affected by armed conflict.
Christian Aid’s local partner, Forum for Community Upliftment System (FOCUS Nepal), has been supporting rural towns by providing surgical beds for coronavirus isolation wards. They gave eighty beds with mattresses, pillows, sheets, blankets as well as dustbins and soap to Siddhalek Rural Municipality.
The support in such a situation is very appreciated. I will make sure that we make proper use of it, once the COVID-19 pandemic is in control we will hand these equipment's to the hospital and health posts in future.
- Chandra Prasad Silwal, Chairperson of Siddhalek RM ward 1.
When a sudden explosion tore through the port of Beirut, Lebanon on 4 August, our local partners were able to respond immediately. They have been providing shelter, food and water to thousands of people who lost everything in the blast.
The devastation is so huge so in the coming weeks and months we will be working closely with the locals here to help them rebuild their lives.
- Fadi Hallisso, Basmeh & Zeitooneh.