FRC’S WORK AGAINST THE CORONAVIRUS
FRC has begun work against the coronavirus in its areas of operation, reaching 293,800 people in refugee camps and conflict-affected areas in Myanmar, Uganda and Liberia. In addition to training on how to prevent the spread of the virus, we run information campaigns and supply refugee camps with water, protective equipment, soap and seeds of edible plants.
PARTICIPATING IN TRAINING IN LIBERIA
TARGETED WITH INFORMATION CAMPAIGN IN MYANMAR
PARTICIPATING IN TRAINING IN UGANDA
Circumstances are deteriorating for refugees around the world due to COVID-19
Refugees and migrants staying in refugee camps and in least developed countries are particularly vulnerable. Congestion, poor sanitation, inadequate health care as well as lack of information increase the risk of infection. Support for aid organisations in refugee camps is especially important while the spread of the virus can still be prevented through awareness and education.
FRC’S HYGIENE TRAINING IN UGANDA
Uganda has restricted both cross-border traffic and access to refugee camps. Schools in refugee camps have been closed and the activities of international organisations have been interrupted in many camps. Training focused on health and coronavirus prevention may continue for the time being. Despite the difficult conditions, 7,000 refugees have already participated in our training.
Our goal is to provide hygiene training for 9,000 adults in twelve refugee camp. However, the training will benefit the participants’ families as well, bringing the total number of beneficiaries close to 45,000.
FRC’s training focuses on teaching effective hand washing and correcting false information about the coronavirus. Clean water and soap are also distributed to participants. For many refugee camp residents, handwashing is not routine as a bar of soap is a luxury item that not everyone can afford. Families who do not have access to handwashing near their homes will receive guidance and support to build a simple handwashing point. Handwashing points help fight the coronavirus in refugee camps where close living quarters and poor washing facilities increase the likelihood of the virus spreading fast.
FRC’S HYGIENE TRAINING IN LIBERIA
The UN Social and Health Council (UNECA) estimated that the number of deaths caused by the coronavirus in Africa will be between 300,000 and 3.3 million, depending on how well the spread of the virus can be prevented.
FRC’s hygiene training in Liberia has reached a total of 11,600 people in five different provinces. The training targeted refugees from Côte d’Ivoire in addition to native Liberians. Our partner NAEAL, National Adult Education Association of Liberia was in charge of the activities.
Making sure people have access to accurate and factual information is particularly important in a country whose civil wars, the Ebola epidemic and the long-standing corruption and human rights abuses have left a deep imprint. Widespread distrust and and illiteracy hinder people’s ability to understand, digest and share fact-based information.
The project started with discussion events in villages where FRC has had educational activities in the past and thereby also facilitators who were familiar with the activities. Training material and guidelines were also prepared, which ensured that accurate information could be spread as widely as possible in different communities. The benefits of education have resulted in raised awareness and active care of hand hygiene. The most remarkable fact is that there has not been any cases of COVID-19 in the said villages.
PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT FOR HOSPITALS AND REFUGEE CAMPS IN MYANMAR
The low capacity of the health care system in Myanmar poses heightened risks to vulnerable populations. Activities aimed at COVID-19 prevention are particularly important in conflict areas, which are not under government control and where international aid organisations are not present.
In Myanmar, several hundred thousand people displaced by violence live in camps that do not have the necessary knowledge or protective equipment to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.
In Myanmar FRC works against coronavirus with people in the conflict-affected states of Kayah and Kachin. Through local partners, we are able to channel aid into areas that are not under government control. We supply local hospitals with personal protective equipment (PPE kits), protective gloves and other supplies of which there is a severe shortage in local hospitals. In addition to an extensive information campaign, we provide food aid and PPE kits to quarantined IDP camps, and work with communities most in need, providing water, soap and hand washing facilities.