World Vision is greatly concerned about the continued increase in the number of COVID-19 confirmed cases in Sudan. We consider the threat of the disease being particularly greater for the most vulnerable populations, including at least 9.3 million people currently in need of humanitarian assistance.
Additionally, given the contagious nature of the coronavirus and how it spreads, the estimated 1.87 million people displaced internally and living in crowded camps, remain at greatest risk.
World Vision is working alongside the Government and Partners to prevent the spread of coronavirus in Sudan, ensure the most vulnerable children and their families are protected from its threat, and continuing with other lifesaving activities to cushion the most vulnerable against the potential impact of COVID-19.
A three-weeks long lockdown in the capital, Khartoum is being implemented since 18 April 2020, as part of the public health emergency plan to mitigate the risk of further spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). Movements have only been allowed from 6am to 1pm to facilitate citizens to access essential services. The rest of the country is under a 6pm to 6am curfew.
All airports, ports and land crossings remain closed to passenger aircrafts, except for humanitarian, commercial and technical support shipments. Additionally, restrictions on all public gathering and movement remain in place, including learning institutions countrywide which remain closed.
The government continues to proactively share preventive and self-awareness guidelines with the public, in an effort to contain the spread of the virus and mitigate the risk of infection.
Impact on WV programming and operations
Measures taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19 such as restrictions on travel and gatherings including social distancing have presented unique challenges for humanitarian operations, which has necessitated suspension of non-essential activities that would normally require significant gatherings such as trainings and community mobilisations.
World Vision has intensified its preventative measure to minimise the risk of exposure to COVID-19 infection by staff and communities, while ensuring continuity of essential activities to meet the needs of the most vulnerable.
World Vision has also enhanced the protection of frontline staff and volunteers facilitating the continuity of essential activities by equipping them with personal protective equipment.
In addition, COVID-19 response activities have been integrated into existing programmes, including intensifying risk communication campaigns, dissemination of preventative messages and promotion of behaviour change. At the same time, with donors’ approval, World Vision has begun re-programming existing essential activities that require significant gatherings to activities geared towards COVID-19 response.
As part of precautionary measures to minimise the risk of exposure to the most vulnerable communities through gatherings and the number of times they have to visit the distribution sites, in consultation with the World Food Programme, the food assistance team has started providing double-ration distributions to cover beneficiaries for two months.