Chubb’s $350,000 donation to the IRC, an organization the company has long supported, will help those hit hardest by this outbreak in crisis-affected countries as well as vulnerable populations with weak or overstretched health systems that are struggling to effectively combat the virus. The IRC has launched coronavirus preparedness and response programs in over 40 countries, including the U.S., Greece, Italy, Syria and Yemen. These programs are helping to strengthen and scale front-line healthcare systems to be able to effectively diminish outbreaks, and to detect and contain this disease.
The International Rescue Committee is taking great precautions to ensure the safety of its activities in northwest Syria, where nearly a million people were forced to flee their homes and left many more living in desperate conditions. Although the IRC continues to provide cash grants to assist the most vulnerable families in rebuilding their lives, the precautions taken to ensure that the Coronavirus is not spread includes limiting the number of people and time spent at IRC centers, ensuring all staff are wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) including masks and gloves and ensuring that hand hygiene gel is widely available for everyone to use. Every person must have their temperature taken before entering the center which is disinfected on a daily basis.
In Kenya, IRC is providing PPE, mobilizing community awareness about COVID-19 and surging health support staff for screening at all their health facilities.
IRC community health volunteers are trying to reach as many people as they can in the Cox’s Bazar refugee camp in Bangladesh, with information about how they can protect themselves from COVID-19.
Leveraging the IRC’s experience responding to infectious disease outbreaks of global concern, including Ebola, and more than 85 years of expertise supporting people affected by conflicts and disasters, the IRC has designed a robust approach to detect, prevent and help contain the outbreak of COVID-19.
In Greece, IRC teams have been communicating with the communities in Arabic, Dari, Farsi, French and English, informing people about coronavirus, the hygiene and preventative measures that help stop the spread of the virus and delivering mental health support to people seeking treatment both in person and telephonically. IRC staff are also adapting planned water and sanitation projects (WASH), including installation of new latrines and water points, and hygiene promotion activities.