Organisational Statement of Position for Operation Mercy, 23 March 2020
The COVID-19 (coronavirus) has now spread to all but possibly one of our countries. Even though the number of people officially affected is still low in most of them, governments and communities have put in place prudent recommendations and rules on social distancing as well as the suspension of any kind of group meetings for the coming weeks.
Operation Mercy welcomes these measures that try to contain the virus and flatten the curve, especially in countries struggling to keep up with the increased demand on their healthcare infrastructure. We encourage all our staff and project participants to follow government recommendations and practice social distancing even in cultures where we love to be in community.
Currently, all our face to face activities across Central Asia, Middle East and North Africa, are suspended for four weeks.
In the meantime:
1. Our staff are working from home to prepare for their project activities post lock down, they are building their own capacity through online training, and using this time to do in depth evaluation of our project progress in order to identify lessons for peer learning.
2. Contingency plans and different innovative models of reaching our project goals are being developed in an effort to continue the pursuit of our vision of hope, capacity and community, even if we and our project participants are in a prolonged phase of isolation.
3. The need for a direct COVID-19 response is being assessed. Some early ideas include refocusing our public health and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) interventions while also providing call in psycho social support for people in isolation.
If you want to support us in this challenging time, especially to ensure staff salaries as they are off project, development of new methods and tools, or a COVID-19 response – you can give to our special “COVID-19 meet the challenge” fund on our website donate page.
The Operation Mercy community continues to spread hope, build capacity and create new ways to celebrate community during this crisis.
Yours, Andrea Vogt
International Director, Operation Mercy.
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