A4EP Position Paper
The Alliance for Empowering Partnership (A4EP) is a network of organisations committed to strengthen the humanitarian architecture and locally led response. On 21st of March A4EP held a meeting with Directors of 14 local/ national organisations from 11 countries, some of whom are part of larger networks in country and representatives on the national, regional and international coordination mechanisms. This position paper contributes to the discussions and decision making on COVID-19 at international, regional, national and local level. It is aimed at the governments, their international development partners, aid donors, INGOs, the private sector and citizens.
Most countries of A4EP members have reported only a limited number of confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths. We recognise, that this may be the result of lack of testing rather than reflect the real epidemiological situation. The measures taken so far, to control gatherings of people and restrict mobility, tend to be less drastic than in China, South Korea or Europe for example, but this may change rapidly. While the message on hand washing is already circulating more widely, maintaining physical distance is lagging. Some of our CSO members are already limited to working from home. Overall, our populations, and our own staff, are deeply concerned. Many people in our society are not digitally well connected, and do not receive the health messages already circulating. Partial and often uncoordinated messaging adds to rather than reduces the confusion, stress and anxiety. Also for us this is an unprecedented situation, for which we have no standard operating procedures – so far.
Local and national civil society organisations have a critical role to play in the response to this pandemic. This all the more so because drastically reduced international travel and supply lines make large scale international mobilization impossible. Many international actors are also dealing with their own operational disruptions and domestic COVID-19 crisis. We know that this will be not only a public health, but also an economic and social crisis. It may also lead to a rise in ethnic, gender based and domestic violence, and may cause social unrest among daily wage earners and people working in informal sector faced with loss of jobs, income and food security. All local and national capacities need to be mobilized to mitigate these impacts as much as possible.
Through our position paper we ask for:
- Clear, coordinated and understandable communications and protection for health care personnel and humanitarian workers and uninterrupted supplies.
- Support to maintain or restore our operational continuity through technical support and funding
- Social welfare and protection for economically vulnerable
- Governments, fellow citizens and fellow humans to treat everyone with dignity and respect during this crisis
Please click here to download the complete paper.
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