As the security situation in Afghanistan worsens, the country is also battling its third wave of Covid-19. Humanity & Inclusion has adapted its activities in Afghanistan to continue providing critical care, as well as resources to prevent the spread of Covid-19.
Since 2020, more than 144,000 people have been infected with the coronavirus in Afghanistan. And that number could be higher, given that many people do not have access to health centers. Herat, Kabul, Nangarhar, Daikundi and Ghazni appear to be the worst-affected provinces.
Humanity & Inclusion’s Covid-19 response in Afghanistan includes:
Humanity & Inclusion provides the local population, particularly people with disabilities, internally displaced people, and host communities, with information on the risk of infection with Covid-19 and how to protect themselves by social distancing and wearing a mask. These awareness-raising activities are particularly important in a country where rumors and misinformation about the pandemic continue to circulate, such as drinking or washing your face with Coca-Cola or drinking black tea as a cure for Covid-19. Teams have conveyed key messages through radio broadcasts and door-to-door outreach to raise awareness.
Humanity & Inclusion has continued to provide physical therapy to patients in need at the Kandahar rehabilitation center, and its mobile teams have made at-homes visits in camps for internally displaced people, particularly in Herat and Kandahar provinces. In 2020, more than 17,000 people participated in rehabilitation sessions. So far this year, the organization has trained 120 physical therapists.
The pandemic has left many people feeling depressed, with many facing job loss or other challenges exacerbated by Covid-19 and its restrictions. Humanity & Inclusion’s teams provided psychosocial support to people who needed it, and set up a hotline. The organization also distributed “leisure” kits containing items like beads or sewing and knitting equipment, as well as games, puzzles and books children to enjoy. Teams have trained medical center personnel in psychosocial first aid.
Humanity & Inclusion continued to provide psychosocial support to people psychologically affected by the conflict or other traumatic events, including Afghan refugees previously living in Pakistan who have been sent back to Afghanistan. In 2020, Humanity & Inclusion provided psychosocial support to nearly 6,000 people in Afghanistan.
The organization distributed protection and hygiene kits containing soap, hand sanitizer and other items to people unable to afford those products. Humanity & Inclusion plans to distribute 200 kits containing clothes, blankets and more to people with disabilities, widows and internally displaced people.
Humanity & Inclusion also referred people in need of other services such as health care and protection to other organizations able to offer them appropriate support.
In addition to Covid-19 related activities, Humanity & Inclusion has continued to assist victims of the conflict in Afghanistan by providing them with rehabilitation sessions, psychosocial support and mine risk education, along with assistance to conflict victims.
Global response to Covid-19
Humanity & Inclusion teams around the world have been responding to the Covid-19 pandemic since March 2020. Donors helped launch more than 170 Covid-19 projects in dozens of countries to protect and care for the people that others overlook. Between March and August 2020, staff have reached 2.2 million people with care and aid to keep Covid-19 at bay.