The pandemic has brought additional challenges to the delivery of humanitarian aid in northwest Syria (NWS), but the humanitarian needs remain just as acute. The IOM Turkey cross-border team has incorporated new programmatic approaches in the face of COVID-19 to mitigate the impact on its operations:
• Adjusted warehousing, logistics and transshipment approaces to reducing transmission risks while maintaining scale and speed – see the video for more details. IOM remains the largest actor in non-food items and shelter.
• Integrated COVID-19 awareness campaigns into all crossborder activities, standard distancing measures into all distributions, and regular disinfection of all IOM-managed facilities;
• Provided essential PPE kits for the staff of 12 implementing partners working in northwest Syria (3,000 kits in total, designed to cover PPE needs for 3 months);
• DistributedCOVID-19 adapted hygiene kits to support 55,000 individuals, and increased the quantities of water regularly provided in IDP camps;
• Established a Community Treatment Centre in an IOM-supported camp to ensure preparedness and response capacity to cater for the 4,000 residents;
• Modified the layout of Reception Centres to increase social distancing, ensure hygienic conditions, and decrease transmission risks;
• Identified and trained COVID-19 focal points in IOM-supported camps and in informal sites to support referrals to local health actors;
• Piloted livelihoods activities to enable small businesses to produce locally-made face masks, soap, and other hygiene items;
• Increased engagement with Health Cluster and C-19 Task Force, providing monitoring support for assessments of over 100 Primary Healthcare Facilities in northwest Syria (NWS)
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