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Forced Migration Review ; 67:29-33, 2021.
Article in English | CAB Abstracts | ID: covidwho-2044773


In the face of COVID-19, innovation, adaptation, and learning from experience have all been crucial to meeting the needs of those who have been displaced. In order to respond to this new disease, the humanitarian community had to get familiar with COVID-19. It was understood from the beginning that basic hygiene precautions, such adequate handwashing, could aid in preventing its transmission. However, a lot of displacement settings lack the infrastructure needed to put household and community-level infection prevention and control (IPC) measures into place. They might also have inadequate governance structures for overseeing and maintaining WASH services. Some of the hardest-to-reach populations are found in displacement contexts like Ethiopia, Somalia, and South Sudan, where people lack the resources to defend themselves and deal with health threats. Disease vulnerability may be exacerbated by overcrowding and restricted access to proper WASH facilities. In the meantime, xenophobia and stigma can develop due to the fear surrounding COVID-19 as well as the dissemination of false information. As new information became available and lessons were discovered, IOM teams operating in these environments had to modify their Risk Communication and Community Engagement (RCCE) and IPC efforts. Any disaster response has traditionally included funding for capacity building for hygiene promotion to strengthen local responses, but COVID-19 demanded more localisation because of the absence of international travel. It demonstrated how supporting local structures can help solidify hygiene promotion capacities while obviating the requirement for a high degree of international assistance in the event of future outbreaks by highlighting considerable local capacity and willingness in some communities.