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Central African Republic: EVD Preparedness - Operation Update Report n° 1 (MDRCF026) 21 September 2020

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Situation Report
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Summary of changes to the Emergency Plan of Action:

This DREF operation update seeks a 3 months no-cost timeframe extension (new end date: 31 December 2020). The overall operational timeframe is now 6 months to ensure effective implementation of the operation which has been delayed by the movement restriction measures linked with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Given the priority of the implementation of COVID-19 activities and movement restriction in the country as well as the implementation of several other ongoing operations, preparatory activities against the spread of the Ebola epidemic were slow to start. Furthermore, despite several coordination meetings on the 11th Outbreak in Equateur Province of DRC, the Ministry of Health, which has primary responsibilities for activities related to health emergencies, had not yet given the go-ahead to partners including the Central African Red Cross to start the prevention activities against the Ebola epidemic on the field with health facilities.

It should also be noted that movement restriction (and road transportation from Bangui to the provinces) imposed by the government following the Covid-19 pandemic also slowed down field visits for these activities. It was following the favourable response of the Minister of Health to the request for a “laissez-passer” from the President of the Central African Republic RC to facilitate the deployment of the Red Cross and Red Crescent teams in the field that made it possible to carry out the first assessment mission.

Moreover, still in the framework of preventive measures due to the COVID-19, the NS could not organise a meeting of more than 15 persons; and as such, organising training sessions taking into account this restriction regarding the number of persons was a constraint not only on the practical aspect but also on the financial aspect following the budget allocated for training.

Taking into account the upcoming end of the implementation period of this operation, the National Society deems it necessary to request an extension of 3 additional months in order to be able to implement the activities foreseen in the operational action plan. There will be no change on the initially planned activities with the exception of radio program sensitisation activities which will be included to reinforce community mobilisation to be able to respect the COVID-19 measures while reducing exposure of people to the EVD.

To date, the activities that have been implemented are summarised as follows:

  • participation in coordination’s meeting
  • field assessment missions
  • Launch of procurement processes.

The extension period will allow the Central African Red Cross to proceed with the effective implementation of activities as planned. Discussions with the Ministry of Health and the World Health Organisation are on track for the launching of activities.