REINFORCING COMMUNICATION WITH COMMUNITIES
Building trust and involving the community are necessary in order to prepare for sensitive future phases such as blood testing for seroprevalence studies and vaccination campaigns.
⇒ Maintain the current level of engagement in activities with the population through community work and via different media to build / maintain trust and counter rumours about COVID-19 prevention, detection and treatments.
⇒ Organise a learning workshop at the Cox’s Bazar level between DEC Member Charities in order to share findings about successful activities and identify positive drivers for building trust and reducing rumours.
MAINSTREAMING COVID-19 PROTECTION MEASURES
During Phase 1, Covid-19 specific measures were necessary, but Phase 2 should now focus on looking back and responding to pre-existing issues and needs that were amplified by the pandemic and the lockdown consequences, while mainstreaming Covid-19 protection measures, which are likely to remain necessary in the future.
⇒ The already limited income-generating activities available before the pandemic have been disrupted by movement restrictions, market closures, and a reduced humanitarian-led economy during lockdown. Cash Transfers and Income-Generating Activities - or Livelihoods activities with incentives, given existing restrictions in camps - should resume or be reinforced.
⇒ In order to address the increasing needs in Protection and Mental Health support, while considering the existing restrictions regarding these activities, it is necessary to find innovative strategies to design integrated Covid-19 prevention activities allowing detection and referral systems in order to improve general protection.
⇒ Reconsider the priority given to installing handwashing stations as numerous actors have designed similar facilities and these might become redundant, whereas sanitation was de-prioritized during the early months of the pandemic, despite the fact that waste management and faecal desludging systems in the camps were never sufficient. (A joint needs assessment of WASH facilities, including Covid-19 prevention, inclusiveness and safety aspects (lights, locks) might be necessary).
⇒ Alternative strategies that can help children continue learning should be discussed and shared.
Education in camps is a major concern as children represent 52% of the camp population and the government has restricted educational activities, which were further disrupted during lockdown.
SCALABLE PROGRAMMES – MONITORING THE EVOLUTION OF THE PANDEMIC
The upcoming Covid-19 seroprevalence study will be useful to find out how much the virus has spread among the refugee and host populations, in order to be able to design and plan future activities.
⇒ Meanwhile, it is necessary to continue monitoring how the context and needs are evolving, and to plan for adaptable / scalable programmes.
⇒ Programming should consequently be designed to be scaled-up or down so that it can be adapted to the evolution of the pandemic and regular monitoring of specific indicators.