Lockdown alternative viewing: what to watch while we're all staying at home
We have put together a list of humanitarian documentaries, podcasts and books that are worth some quarantime.
Where we work
Our annual report
The coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic presents an exceptional challenge for countries all over the world. As the outbreak unfolds, our teams continue to respond to this global threat and are well-equipped to support those who are most vulnerable.
Many of the world's poorest communities depend on jobs like manual labour to make the income they need to survive but lockdown restrictions have made this impossible, and families are now struggling to feed their children.
Given the impact of the disease on countries with strong health systems, Covid-19 poses an even larger threat to densely populated countries that are already struggling with the impact of conflict, climate change and hunger.
Our focus will be on maintaining our current lifesaving programmes, where possible, as well as playing our part in raising awareness of the tools that can be used to fight the spread of the infection and help with its wider impacts.
Here is a detailed breakdown of how we are responding in each country.
On 16 March 2020, the Federal Ministry of Health of Somalia confirmed the first case of Covid-19 in the country’s capital, Mogadishu. Somalia has just one ICU bed per million people. We are taking all the necessary precautions to prevent the spread of Covid-19 to the communities we serve while ensuring the continuity of our lifesaving programmes. To do this, we are:
We have worked with health centres to ensure fumigation is done, health workers are trained and that PPE is procured and distributed. In addition, hand-washing stations have been installed, soap has been provided, and the provision of water has been undertaken.
In Ethiopia, we have reviewed and adjusted all activities to avoid large gatherings, while also maintaining important food distribution and services to our outpatient therapeutic programmes. We are working to distribute soap and protective equipment for health staff, as well as setting up hand-washing stations. Finally, we are looking at measures that include emergency unrestricted cash assistance and phone counselling.
The importance of social distancing is being emphasised throughout our programme areas and amongst our staff. Our programmes are ensuring that the number of people attending clinics, training and food distributions at any one time are kept to a minimum and our teams use every opportunity to promote hand and respiratory hygiene.
To date we have:
Concern is working with the Kenyan government in its response to Covid-19 by providing technical support through working groups and coordination meetings, but we are also responding by:
In Burundi, we are responding to Covid-19 by:
In Rwanda, our team have developed strategies to support vulnerable communities through activities such as cash transfers, which will help to mitigate the economic impact of social distancing measures.
In DRC, we are adapting all our distribution activities in accordance with social distancing guidelines. However, we will continue cash transfer activities to help mitigate the economic impact of the virus. We are also adapting our health programme activities to include relevant hygiene activities and community messaging on infection control.
The arrival of Covid-19 in the Central African Republic (CAR) was expected to exacerbate the vulnerabilities of a population who are already coping with ongoing conflict, particularly in terms of access to good quality health services, adequate nutrition and livelihoods opportunities. As the hungriest country in the world, with one of the world’s weakest health systems, it was vital that we responded quickly and effectively. We immediately adapted two of our current projects and launched two new projects along the axis linking the capital Bangui to Douala in Cameroon - one of the areas most affected by the pandemic. 400,000 people across western CAR will benefit from this mobilisation.
We have also:
In Niger, we are increasing all community awareness activities by sharing messages and advice to reduce the spread of Covid-19 over the radio. In addition, we are:
Finally, we are setting up hand-washing stations in all of our community locations and particularly in health centres. Our education and livelihood activities have been adapted to incorporate social distancing guidelines.
The first confirmed case of Covid-19 in Chad was announced on the 19 of March 2020.
Since then, we have implemented mass awareness campaigns to prevent and limit the spread of Covid-19 through a number of means including local radio. Recent assessments have shown that the levels of awareness regarding Covid-19 and its prevention are strong. These campaigns are continuing with the incorporation of new messages including stigmatisation and respecting preventative measures. We’re also providing practical assistance to prevent transmission, including strengthening access to protective equipment for health workers; rehabilitating boreholes to increase access to water for 5,000 households; and distributing water, sanitation and hygiene kits to 5,000 vulnerable households.
In Liberia, our team has been scaling down our general programme activities in line with government restrictions. The primary focus at present has been on preparing materials to raise awareness around social distancing and handwashing, including the production of radio jingles.
In Sierra Leone, we have introduced a range of activities under our programmes to help slow the spread of the virus, many of which are adapted from our response to the Ebola crisis in 2017. These include:
We are also maintaining essential health services so people still receive treatment for non-Covid-19 related health issues. The prevalence of life-threatening illnesses, such as malaria, is only set to increase with the onset of the rainy season, which typically runs from May until October. A large part of our health response is to support those clinics so that they can remain operational and continue to treat such conditions during this pandemic. We’re supplying them with vital Infection Protection Control (IPC) materials – everything from chlorine to hand sanitiser – so that they can maintain a safe and sterile environment for both staff and patients.
Due to school closures, education activities have adapted to support the Ministry’s approved distance learning approach using a curriculum designed for use on the radio. We have also distributed radios and spare batteries to school children.
In Sudan, our team has been scaling back regular programme activities in line with government social distancing restrictions and our health programme activities are currently being adapted to align with the national Covid-19 response strategy. We are:
Malawi’s population is particularly vulnerable to the effects of Covid-19, with just 25 intensive care unit beds and 20 ventilators in a country of more than 17 million people. As a result, our team has adapted our programme activities to reduce the size of meetings, keeping physical distance between the farmers we work with and introducing handwashing before and after trainings and seed fairs.
We are also responding by:
The outbreak of Covid-19 was predicted to affect Afghanistan significantly due to its weak health system, limited access to hygiene and sanitation facilities, and cramped living conditions in camps where people having fled conflict are currently living. We have been responding by:
Where the government has imposed a nationwide shutdown in a bid to contain the virus, we have redesigned our nutrition services at the Rohingya camps near the village of Cox’s Bazar, where 855,000 refugees are living in close proximity to each other and in significant danger should Covid-19 enter the community.
In addition to this, we are responding by:
In Pakistan, under the Building Disaster Resilience Programme (BDRP), government health facilities and quarantine centres are being supported by the provision of:
Similarly, the RAPID Programme is focused on improving preparedness and response capacity at the government and community level through its planned provision of:
Training sessions are also planned for the front line staff in government health facilities, along with mass awareness at the community level.
The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), remains officially Covid-free. However, due to its fragile health system we have been responding with key preventative measures in vulnerable communities where we work. Activities include:
In Iraq, years of war have taken a toll on its population and on governance, resulting in a limited capacity to rebuild the country. This is becoming even more challenging with the growing number of Covid-19 cases in Iraq – the Iraqi Ministry of Health confirmed over 535,000 cases as of November 23, 2020.
This emergency requires everyone to work together and highlights the vital role humanitarian agencies can play in supporting authorities to prevent the spread of the virus. Our work has focused specifically on:
The second wave of Covid-19 has now started, with an average of 1,800 new cases recorded per day. With little access to lifesaving health care and limited opportunities to practice adequate social distancing, refugees and migrant workers are at a heightened risk of contracting the virus. Our team is working to mitigate the impact of Covid-19 among Lebanon’s most vulnerable communities by:
As part of our ongoing Protection programme, our team has strengthened its remote case management work, which supports survivors of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), child protection, and intimate partner violence (IPV).
The number of deaths in Turkey has now passed 12,000 and our team is continuing to provide urgent protection support to vulnerable individuals.
We are responding to Covid-19 by:
The scale, severity and complexity of needs in Syria remain extensive with an estimated 11.7 million people in need, including thousands of people living in camps and informal settlements. These communities are especially vulnerable to Covid-19 because of crowded living conditions, inadequate shelter, limited access to water, handwashing facilities and soap, the prevalence of pre-existing medical conditions, with limited functioning health facilities. As a result, we are:
Already hit by a severe political and environmental crisis, Haiti is now facing another significant challenge with Covid-19. It will be particularly difficult in the slum areas of Port-of-Prince where we are currently implementing programmes.
Our team is committed to following Government recommendations such as social distancing and are working on adapting our programmes in Port-of-Prince in order to respond to the threat. Under our ‘Disaster Risks Reduction’ (DRR) programme, we have been putting in place important prevention measures such as social distancing messaging, hygiene kit distributions and water point and pump installations.
Our staff have been supplying cleaning soap and provided money and training for unemployed people to make their own soap to use and sell, which has been running successfully in Cite Soleil, Haiti’s largest slum. This helped the communities to get make an income from the soap making process, as well as getting access to protect themselves against Covid-19.
The coronavirus pandemic is a global crisis that requires a global response. Concern has always been committed to a principal of leaving no-one behind – and this has never been more relevant.
If you’d like to help, please donate to our Coronavirus Emergency Appeal