October 3rd, 2020 ― Doha: The representation office of Qatar Red Crescent Society (QRCS) in Afghanistan has initiated a project to combat the Coronavirus (COVID-19), by providing personal protective supplies for 300 health workers at 50 primary health care facilities in remote areas, enabling them to serve the vulnerable population with maximum safety and security.
At a total cost of $40,000, funded by QRCS, these provisions are part of the projects to support COVID-19 control efforts in 22 countries across six continents.
In coordination with Afghanistan’s Ministry of Health (MOH), it is co-implemented by QRCS and the Afghan Red Crescent Society (ARCS), under a previously signed bilateral agreement.
After completing all the technical preparations and logistics of the project, the medical and protective supplies were purchased and delivered, including masks, gloves, protective equipment, disinfectants, and hand sanitizers. Currently, the deliverables are distributed to the health facilities in the target provinces.
The project is driven by QRCS’s sense of responsibility towards the brotherly people of Afghanistan, where the health authorities lack resources and supplies. It is an attempt to reduce the spread of the virus among the local communities, with a special focus on the underserved and inaccessible parts of the country.
These provisions consisted of 106 digital thermometers, 200 personal protective equipment (PPE) kits, 2,451 N95 masks, 300 medical mask packages, 300 medical glove packages, and 300 hand sanitizer/disinfectant packages. As a main partner, ARCS was involved in all stages of the project, from selection of beneficiaries and contracting of suppliers to logistic and technical support.
Afghanistan is among the countries prone to the Coronavirus pandemic, with its geographic location in-between China and Iran, two of the Asian countries with highest outbreak rates. Thousands of Afghan people have returned from abroad, which increases the chances of infection among the locals. There are no places or resources for quarantine, and most of the population suffer poor education and living conditions.
According to MOH, the number of confirmed cases until the end of September was 39,074, with 1,444 deaths. With support from World Health Organization (WHO) and other countries and humanitarian organizations, the national health authorities work hard to control the virus. For that purpose, an emergency response plan was developed, but the available resources remain inadequate.
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About Qatar Red Crescent (QRCS)
Established in 1978, Qatar Red Crescent Society (QRCS) is a humanitarian volunteering organization that aims to assist and empower vulnerable individuals and communities without partiality or discrimination.
QRCS is a member of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement, which consists of the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), and 191 National Societies. QRCS is also a member of several GCC, Arab, and Islamic organizations, such as the Islamic Committee of International Crescent and the Arab Red Crescent and Red Cross Organization (ARCO). In this legally recognized capacity, QRCS has access to disaster and conflict zones, thus serving as an auxiliary to the State of Qatar in its humanitarian efforts — a role that distinguishes it from other local charities and NGOs.
QRCS operates both locally and internationally and has ongoing international relief and development projects in a number of countries throughout the Middle East, Asia, Africa, and Europe. QRCS's humanitarian actions include providing support in disaster preparedness, disaster response, risk reduction, and disaster recovery. To mitigate the impact of disasters and improve the livelihoods of affected populations, QRCS provides medical services, healthcare, and social development to local communities. It is also active at the humanitarian advocacy front. With the help of a vast network of trained, committed staff and volunteers, QRCS aspires to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity.
QRCS works under the umbrella of the seven international humanitarian principles: Humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, unity, and universality.