As the world continues to respond to the global pandemic of Covid-19, the coronavirus, the situation on the ground in every country is changing rapidly. The ACT Security Group is putting together regular updates of their advice on how to deal with this virus. The ACT Secretariat is in contact with forums and members around the world, and is looking into additional supports and responses that are possible from the Alliance. We will continue to post updates to our website as they are available, to share our recommendations and responses to this situation.
LIVE STREAM, 2 DECEMBER, 2020
- The ACT Malawi Forum, with support from Christian Aid, has published the “COVID-19 Joint Faith Community Response and Adaptation Framework” here.
- IASC’s Minimum Standards on Duty of Care in the context of COVID-19
- ACT signs the Moral Imperative to End Extreme Poverty’s Statement on COVID-19.
- ACT member CWS report on their humanitarian response to COVID-19 in the LAC region from April-June 2020.
- The ACT Alliance Disability Inclusive Development CoP developed a briefing paper on Disability and Inclusion Perspectives during COVID-19
- ACT Alliance EU launches toolkit to foster engagement with religious leaders and faith communities
- ACT member DCA published a learning report on their experiences working in the COVID-19 response. Read it here.
- ACT Alliance calls for a global mechanism to ensure an equitable and criteria-based access to the COVID-19 vaccine. Read the statement here.
- The ACT Malawi Forum helped coordinate a Faith Leaders COVID-19 Platform meeting. Here is the report on the meeting. They have also released a joint statementon COVID-19.
- ACT Alliance blog on tackling COVID-19 and climate emergencies simultaneously in Kenya
- Bread for the World has produced a Selected List of Resources and Repositories on Faith Based Responses and Pastoral Guidelines on COVID-19
- NCA issued its COVID-19 Global Response Plan
- ACT Alliance briefing paper onGender and Faith Perspectives on COVID-19.
- As part of its ACTCovid19Chats ACT Alliance has developed two conversations around “Gender and COVID-19” and “Humanitarian Challenges (and opportunities) of COVID-19“
- Read ACT Alliance EU Opinion piece:“The coronavirus response needs local communities and faith leaders”
- ACT Alliance has launched its Rapid Response Fund in 14 countries, responding to COVID-19. Story here.
Quality and accountability
COVID-19 and Disabilities
Pandemics are the most complex crises to plan for in terms of emergency response. For one, the humanitarian infrastructure is not particularly designed for scaling up at a global level. Traditionally, epidemics and pandemics are considered as health emergencies that require interventions in health systems and services. However, the current context in many countries is such that urban agglomerations and informal settlements have grown tremendously (e.g. Delhi, Kolkata, Dhaka, Manila, Jakarta, Johannesburg, Sao Paolo), and mega-camps have become the norm in dealing with massive displacement situations (e.g. Darfur, Dadaab, Zahtari, Cox’s Bazar). In addition, people on the move (e.g., Venezuela, Central America, Turkey-Greece border, Syria-Turkey border, Sahel, etc.) are a major vulnerable group, with infections expected to rise exponentially as soon as it hits them. As such the recommended approach as discussed in the Interagency Standing Committee (IASC) and other global coordination bodies is that the humanitarian response to CoVID-19 should take a multi-sectoral approach that would complement the health systems work led by the WHO and governments.
The proposed ACT Alliance response should recognize the overall principles set out by the IASC in the draft Global Humanitarian Response Plan):
- Maximise the complementarity and synergies between ongoing responses and plans.
- Ensure flexibility to adjust the responses and targets to the fast-evolving situation and needs
- Build on existing coordination mechanisms
- Full respect of humanitarian principles
- Ensure inclusion of all people – notably vulnerable, stigmatized, hard to reach, displaced and mobile populations who are frequently left out of national plans, or who are inadequately included in such plans
Role of fbos
During these exceptional times, we cannot ignore the extent of the gendered effects of Covid-19 to ensure that the secondary effects of this health emergency are taken into account when designing policies and interventions. Experiences from previous outbreaks highlight the importance of incorporating a gender analysis in the preparedness and repose activities to ensure effectiveness of interventions, while promoting gender and health justice.
Palwashay Arbab, co-chair of the Gender Justice Reference Group, wrote a blog on how COVID-19 affects men and women differently for the CWSA website.
Peace and human security
The Reference Group on Peace and Human Security (in close collaboration with DCA and NCA) has developed How to integrate Do No Harm & Conflict Sensitivity.
Security risk management
- ACT Alliance has produced a 2-page summary of the ACT COVID-19 appeal, and an infographic about the appeal.
- ACT Alliance produced another infographic on safety advices for staff working in the COVID-19 environment here
- ACT Alliance has produced a pamphlet on the role of FBOs during a health crisis. It provides arguments to justify investing in a stronger role of FBOs during the COVID-19 pandemic: New Virus, Old Challenges
Digital organizing during COVID-19
Resources, tips and trainings by ACTLearn
As we navigate in these troubling times of Covid-19, we are increasingly challenged by working remotely and conducting meetings and trainings online. Fortunately, ACT Alliance’s learning collaboration, ACTLearn, has focused on online collaboration and learning for several years and is ready to support! ACT Alliance members can take advantage of this collaboration and its resources.
A number of opportunities are listed below:
Get inspiration, useful tips and other helpful resources for working with dispersed teams, hosting online meetings and trainings, and much more. Participation is free. The webinar is hosted by DanChurchAid’s Learning Lab.
The first webinar will take place on Thursday, March 26th from 9:00-10:00 CET. Find out more about the webinar.
Join the ACTLearn/Fabo collaboration and develop your own online courses
Learning Lab has launched a new virtual work site for experience sharing to help transition from in-person working to remote working. The site gathers resources, tips and tricks all in one place.
This is a learning gate on fabo.org for ACT Alliance Members. On the site you can find courses for ACT Alliance Members. We are currently developing the catalogue. We are excited to offer free courses on “Code of Conduct“, “Complaints”, “Facilitation” and “Religion and Development”. https://fabo.org/act