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NGO COVID-19: Operational Snapshot, 12 March 2020

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As LHIF and LHDF we have over 7500 national staff running programmes across the country and maintain a network of hundreds of community-based volunteers who will be essential to national COVID-19 response and outreach efforts. This is in addition to NGO health actors who are supporting dozens of PHCs across the country and WASH actors who are maintaining essential service provision. Contingency planning for COVID-19 and mitigation measures at programme and operational levels are already underway and this update aims to provide an operational snapshot for NGOs (both local and international) in a rapidly changing context.

Key messages

• COVID-19 stigma is already having a negative effect on the most vulnerable and increasing desire to keep a low profile and to not report suspected cases. This puts vulnerable individuals and their communities at risk.

• It is essential to combat fake news with trusted members of communities (including volunteers and NGO staff) relaying MoPH and WHO awareness messages.

• Movement challenges will restrict refugees from going to hospitals to seek testing and treatment.

• Critical to keep engagement and coordination with UN, NGOs, CBOs, religious leaders and municipalities.

• Slower or halted implementation will result in inability to meet existing targets under programmes with a focus on maintaining essential operations for vulnerable communities.

• Resilience of vulnerable groups to stockpile food and essential household items will be significantly strained due to the prevailing economic crisis in Lebanon.