The immediate reaction to COVID-19 is anxiety, then a settling realisation that life will never be the same again. And to consider impacts beyond getting infected and how to prevent it.
ChristianAid this May started a five-month project to localise preparedness and response to primary and secondary impacts of Covid-19 on a specific demographic—internally displaced people, returnees and vulnerable populations in hard-to-reach areas of Nigeria and Afghanistan.
In Nigeria, the intervention will be in 32 rural communities across 13 LGAs of Benue, Borno and Kaduna states, where populations have been displaced by fighting, and others have returned to their locales to continue their lives.
“Despite the restrictions, we are challenging ourselves to reach the hard-to-reach locations because we are committed to what we do, and we have promised to stand together with the most vulnerable people,” said the country manager for Christian Aid Nigeria, Charles Usie.
“The biggest benefit of this intervention is that some people who would needlessly suffer because of this lockdown do not suffer and because of our work in the next 5 months the households we work with will be more empowered and better off.”
It is about empowering the individuals to sustain access to basic needs and essential health services.
At the same time, it will improve the capacity of community and local health systems to effectively identify and refer COVID-19 related cases in line with government protocols.
It improves to improve the communities’ preparedness for coronavirus increasing knowledge, providing sanitation and hygiene kits and give cash to households to help cushion the effect of lockdown.
“The project will directly be reaching over 10,000 people with hygiene and sanitation (WASH) kits, trainings and cash,” said Usie.
“We will maintain high standards and transparency in the way we go about the distribution of items because we are a model organization and we are accountable both to the donor and the participants.”