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Community Engagement During COVID-19: A Guide for Community-Facing Staff

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Manual and Guideline
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Background

Covid-19 has affected 177 countries, with an average case fatality ratio of around 4%.1 As the number of cases climbs, countries have adopted a variety of restrictions to try to curb the spread and ‘flatten the curve’ to prevent health care systems from being overwhelmed.

Covid-19 affects those with weakened immune systems more severely. Oxfam is particularly worried about its potential impact on people experiencing humanitarian crises, especially refugees and internally displaced people, as they are extremely vulnerable and have limited access to basic services. Oxfam’s experience of working in humanitarian situations – and in the recent Ebola and Zika outbreaks – has demonstrated that the best way to respond is to build trust in communities and services, understand community perspectives and share information, and to work with communities to determine how to keep people safe.

This guide is intended to support teams working directly with communities during the Covid-19 pandemic. It provides general guidance on community engagement during outbreak responses, including how to support an integrated response, as well as outbreak prevention and response.