Kenya + 2 more

ICRC Nairobi Regional Delegation - Regional Newsletter (December 2020)

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When we did our planning for 2020, nothing could possibly have prepared us for the disruptive element that came in the way of COVID-19. The ICRC’s long history of over 150 years makes us more adapted to respond to armed conflict but the COVID-19 pandemic was unforeseen not only in Kenya, but globally. As such, we had to adapt our programs and response around the country to include COVID-19 measures in our operations.

A key target vulnerable group was prisoners and with the cooperation of the Kenya Prisons Services (KPS) and working together with the Kenya Red Cross, we have supported 75 prisons across the country. We worked on policy recommendations while upgrading existing infrastructure in prisons, provision of protective equipment and offering phone calls to prisoners allowing them to stay in touch with their families when family visits were discontinued as a way of keeping coronavirus out of prisons. To date, more than 120,000 phone calls have been made allowing families to stay in touch.
In Western Tanzania, we paused, adapted then resumed family reunifications of 75 unaccompanied minors in Burundi in partnership with Tanzanian and Burundian Red Cross, ensuring safety measures were followed.

For the second half of the year, we picked up operations, continuing with our economic securitysupport to communities in Lamu and Garissa. It has been heartwarming listening to their stories of resilience and how our program support has allowed them to engage in new sustainable ways.

One thing we were committed to doing in 2020 was breaking ground for our new Delegation premises in Lower Kabete. This office is significant in that it is one of ICRC’s largest investments outside of Geneva. Our target is to have more than 300 staff of our Nairobi and Somalia offices in there by 2022.
We desire to attain a green certification for this building so everything is being done to align our construction plans with our green ambition.

As the year drew to a close, our logistics center stepped in due to renewed fighting in neighbouring countries, like Ethiopia’s Tigray and Mozambique’s Cabo Delgado sending medical material, relief and shelter items, vehicles and personnel to reinforce ICRC response in both contexts.