ACT launches COVID-19 response in 14 countries


The midwife of Nawdamorra Sub Health Center in Laghman province conducted an awareness session on COVID-19 to sensitize the women in the community. Photo: CWSA
The midwife of Nawdamorra Sub Health Center in Laghman province conducted an awareness session on COVID-19 to sensitize the women in the community. Photo: CWSA

The novel Coronavirus has affected every country in the world, bringing massive disruption in its wake. ACT Alliance responded by launching a global appeal and rapid response fund (RRF) programme. 

ACT’s RRF is designed to fund local, national members in responding to humanitarian need in the face of crises.  Over 35 national members submitted proposals to the RRF, and today, ACT is announcing funding to the first 14 projects, totalling over 1.2 million USD in programming.

Through the projects, ACT members will be supporting national health services, working with faith leaders in providing accurate and timely information to communities, and providing sorely needed support to the most vulnerable people in communities.  Much of ACT’s work through this appeal includes a focus on gender justice, the important role of local faith actors and churches, and the protection of highly vulnerable populations.

The 14 projects are:

Afghanistan: Community World Service Asia (CWSA) will provide cash to 580 at risk households to support their basic needs, as well as 200 PPE kits for 2 health facilities.

Bangladesh: Christian Commission for Development (CCDB) in Bangladesh will provide food and hygiene supplies to 5000 households of daily workers who have lost their livelihoods during the lockdown.

Brazil: Coordenadoria Ecumênica de Serviço (CESE) will provide food packages to 4200 indigenous households in the Amazon region, Mato Grosso do Sul and Rio Grande do Sul.

Cuba: Cuban Council of Churches (CIC) will provide protection kits for health personnel from 2 isolation centres, 880 people with personal hygiene kits, food to 140 patients at an isolation centre, and psychosocial support to 2000 people.

Egypt: The Bishopric of Public, Ecumenical and Social Services (BLESS) will provide hygiene kits and food to 3000 households, and will work with local faith leaders to disseminate key messages on infection prevention and good hygiene, as well as reducing fear and stigma.

Ghana: The Presbyterian Church in Ghana- Relief Services and Development (PRS&D) will provide food to 1500 households, handwashing stations in 10 communities, and protective equipment to vulnerable households and three health centres.

Haiti: Service Chrétien d’Haïti (SCH) will engage in a community-led response to raise awareness of COVID-19, encourage families to take appropriate steps to prevent the disease, and provide food to support 420 families losing their daily wage income during lockdown.

Honduras: Comisión de Acción Social Menonita (CASM) will provide biosecurity kits to 40 medical staff in 10 primary health units, cash transfers for food purchases to 1650 families, and COVID-19 prevention and anti-stigma information to 7000 people.

Indonesia: Pelkesi, Yakkum Emergency Unit (YEU) and the Centre for Disaster Risk Management and Community Development Studies will provide PPE and psychosocial support to staff at five COVID-19 referral hospitals, and will reach 10,000 with an information campaign about prevention and mitigation of COVID-19.

Malawi: Christian Agency for Rural Development (CARD) and Evangelical Lutheran Development Service (ELDS) will provide an awareness campaign to reach 2.4 million people with accurate information about COVID-19 and its prevention, and will work with local faith leaders to provide psychosocial support to affected families.

Peru: Diaconia Peru will provide free virtual counselling to 12,000 vulnerable people in Peru, Ecuador, Bolivia and Colombia, with an emphasis on the prevention of gender-based and family violence.  Local faith leaders will be trained in GBV prevention and pastoral responses to illness and bereavement.  Additionally, 600 vulnerable families will receive food and PPE support.

NCCP distributing food supplies to daily wage earners who cannot work during the lockdown in the Philipines. Photo: NCCP

Philippines: The National Council of Churches in the Philippines (NCCP) will provide food packs, sanitation and hygiene kits, and unconditional cash grants to 1500 vulnerable families.

Serbia: Ecumenical Humanitarian Organization (EHO) and Philanthropy- The Charitable Fund of the Serbian Orthodox Church will provide food packages to 3000 people, hygiene packages to 4300 people, PPE for frontline workers, shelter for homeless people, psychosocial support to 130 people (focusing on gender), and engagement with faith and religious leaders and groups to provide awareness raising.

Tanzania: The Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania (ELCT), through its network of hospitals and local health facilities, will provide PPE for 480 frontline medical professionals, work with 50 bishops and high-level religious workers on information and awareness messaging, and medical interventions for 25,000 high-risk people to reduce new infections and allay fears and anxiety.

The full ACT Appeal can be found here.