COVID-19: Field updates from our partners

The COVID-19 contagion is having unprecedented impacts on our human family.

In many parts of the Global South, the pandemic is stretching already meagre resources and exacerbating the problems caused by poverty, hunger, climate change and political instability. Yet, societies are also responding with remarkable solidarity, resourcefulness and resilience.

This newsfeed provides updates on how Development and Peace’s partners are helping vulnerable communities around the world cope with the coronavirus crisis.

 

4 days ago

Providing frontline healthcare in Lebanon

In Lebanon, where a financial crisis has constrained healthcare capacity and where multigenerational family structures and a large refugee population make physical distancing difficult, COVID-19 poses a grave threat. The pandemic has already affected 248 people and claimed four lives. 
 
Development and Peace’s partner, Caritas Lebanon, is actively monitoring the situation and collaborating with the World Health Organization and the health ministry. Three of its staff members have received COVID-19 safety training and are imparting these skills to others. 
 
Caritas Lebanon’s health centres have implemented protocols for identifying and isolating people presenting with COVID-19 symptoms; using personal protective equipment; and disinfecting spaces. Staff are trained in respiratory hygiene, handwashing and social distancing and have access to an internal helpline. Following strict safety measures, an emergency response unit is distributing food kits to communities affected by COVID-19. 
5 days ago

Decentralizing solidarity in the Philippines

Weeks before the Philippine government declared a “state of calamity,” Development and Peace’s partners were restricting in-person meetings and curtailing non-essential field work. Now, their staff are working from home, contending with limited public transportation or having to isolate themselves for fear of having contracted COVID-19. 

To ensure that vulnerable people receive the help they need in these difficult circumstances, Caritas Philippines is decentralizing the distribution of aid. Instead of coordinating humanitarian work centrally, it is asking parishes and dioceses affected by COVID-19 to set up “Kindness Stations” at the barangay (village/ward) level. 

At these stations, people are encouraged to take what they need, spare some for others and give what they can of basic essentials. By facilitating solidarity, our partners are thus helping communities cope with one of the worst crises in recent memory. 

5 days ago

Empowerment through information in Ecuador

Development and Peace’s Ecuadorean partners, the Latin American Association of Popular Education and Communication (ALER) and the Latin American Information Agency (ALAI), promote peace, good governance and active citizenship by disseminating socially relevant information. 

As a coalition of community radio stations, ALER is responding to the COVID-19 crisis by broadcasting special programming to hispanophone audiences in South America. Their broadcasts provide accurate information, dispel myths, relay important public health messages, promote community solidarity and offer advice on coping with the coronavirus pandemic. 

As an organization dedicated to the democratization of information, ALAI is creating and distributing content that helps people contextualize the pandemic and its intersection with issues of social, economic and gender justice.