COVID-19 is a new test of our collective strength. As millions are on lockdown and businesses are closing, unemployment is spiking. Getting food and finding basics is tougher than ever before. Healthcare practitioners at the frontlines are facing shortage of basic equipment. The lockdown has caused severe economic difficulty, especially for daily wage-earner families, domestic aids in both rural and urban areas.
United Way Kolkata is stepping up interventions specially to support the most acutely impacted unorganized workers in Bengal. The long-term implications of this pandemic have the potential to cripple affected communities. Once the need for social distancing subsides, we foresee a need for midterm and long-term interventions to rehabilitate communities and build resilience to any further incidences. The expected long-time indications of humanitarian support outline the following:
- Upgradation of sanitation and hygiene facilities in communities such as low-income schools, community spaces, hospitals, etc.
- Health education, screening and awareness generation on WASH behaviours
- Restoring livelihoods of daily wage earners and marginalized communities
- Mental health support
- Identification and skilling of community health volunteers
- Upgradation of health facilities and infrastructure in government hospitals and public health centres.
- Support of frontline workers including doctors, nurses, public health workers, sanitation workers, police personnel, etc.
- Nutrition and education support for children to compensate for losses during periods of isolation or school closure.
- Upgradation and installation of sanitation and hygiene facilities.
- Measures to improve hygiene awareness and practices in high-density habitation like in urban slums