Press Releases, COVID-19

Covid-19 CID update March 26

Posted on 26 March 2020

Pacific Resources on Covid-19

  • Covid-19 Level 4 Alert: Pacific People at 4:30pm today (26/03/2020) on TV1. A special – United Against Covid-19 Level 4 Alert messages for Pacific people in their languages (Samoan, Tongan, Cook Islands, Maori, Niue, Tokelauan, Tuvalu, Fijian, Rotuman and Kiribati
  • Ministry of Pacific Peoples have completed all their Covid-19 Pacific translated resources. They are available here in 9 Pacific languages.
  • Tagata Pasifika Special 1-hour edition on Covid-19 – 9:00am on Sat, 28th on TV1
  • Tagata Pasifika Sunday community message – 7:35am Sun, 29th March on TV1

Covid-19 Resources by Unicef 

Other info and resources are available on Unicef International dedicated page on coronavirus.

 

Covid-19 Resources shared by ICVA (International Council of Voluntary Agencies)

Online Dashboards:

  • A dashboard on risk communication & community engagement has been established by OCHA, with support from WHO, IFRC, UNICEF and Save the Children, this can be found here

Advocacy:

Gender

  • Gender in Humanitarian Action has published a resource on key advocacy points from Asia & the Pacific on the Covid-19 outbreak - here.
  • OXFAM Statement – Ideas for a Pro-Poor and Pro-Women approach to Covid-19
  • CARE Statement – Gender Implications of COVID-19 in Development and Humanitarian Setting

General

  • International Council of Voluntary Agencies (ICVA) Global Statement on COVID-19 - here.

Operational and Contingency Planning

  • Intended for use by WHO and its partner, the WHO Western Pacific Regional Action Plan Covid-19 document focuses on the West Pacific and has helpful information to support any actors in mitigating public-health impacts over the next 6 months - here.
  • While not claiming to be exhaustive, the INGO Forum in Myanmar’s Covid-19 contingency guide is useful for organisations to develop their own BaU and contingency plans for the impacts of Covid-19 – here.
  • The Sphere Project has collated and disseminated emerging practice and evidence in the Covid-19 response and released a four-page document guiding you through the relevant parts of the Sphere Handbook; one of the most widely known and internationally recognised sets of common principles and universal minimum standards in humanitarian response.
  • Christian Aid study on how faith leaders supported the recovery efforts of Ebola-affected countries, linked to the broader role of faith in humanitarian response but will be helpful for Covid-19 response – available here.

Communications & Media

  • Regional Risk Communication and Community Engagement (RCCE) working group has released an excellent resource on how to include marginalised and vulnerable people in risk communication and community engagement - here.
  • BBC Media Action has produced a communications grid for COVID 19, to assist with thinking about what sort of media content is needed and the different types of information that is required to address specific needs – here.
  • Asia Pacific Refugee Rights Network (APRRN) Database on COVID-19 Media Coverage have established a databank of articles, editorials, and advocacy statements regarding refugees and other migrants in relation to Covid-19 available here

Delay to Manaaki applications welcomed

 Here’s an update from MFAT on Manaaki: 

‘Due to the impact of COVID-19, and taking into account feedback from the NGO sector, MFAT has decided to extend the deadline for the second round of its contestable fund, Manaaki, from 5pm 30 March to 5pm Friday 29 May 2020 

Subject to any further unexpected developments, please find below the revised timeline for Manaaki round two, for your planning purposes:

  1. Concepts are due 29 May 2020
  2. Concepts will be assessed and due diligence undertaken between June – August 2020
  3. Activity design, appraisal and contracting will be completed between September – November 2020
  4. Implementation will start from December 2020 onward.

If you’ve any questions in relation to Manaaki or any other MFAT activities, please contact MFAT at partneringforimpact@mfat.govt.nzor see its website.

 

Can INGOs be counted as ‘essential services?’ 

CID is continuing to make the case for those INGO that need to enter office premises during the lockdown can do so (with 1 staff member for example) to complete mail outs, or do physical banking. MFAT has picked up the case and is following up on our behalf direct with the COVID-19 team. THANK YOU MFAT.

The information with regards to essential services is continually evolving. Keep checking this website which includes the most recent cabinet decisions. 

As well as waiting to see how MFAT do following up on our behalf,   MSD and MBIE have also asked if more specific information and queries could be fed directly into community_information@msd.govt.nz and essential@mbie.govt.nz. CID members should also follow up individually through these channels.

 

Fiji Times – ‘NZ NGOs will struggle with fundraising – please help’

 A piece this week in the Fiji Times highlights the need to keep NZ INGOs funded and able to respond when the need comes in the Pacific. Vivien Maidaborn (UNICEF) and Josie Pagani (CID) responded.

‘Humanitarian organisations who are the first line of defence in times of crisis are preparing to fight the disease alongside our neighbours, but their ammunition may be limited as donations dry up in one of the worst global health crises in modern times.’

‘Pagani says all New Zealand humanitarian aid workers have been brought home from the Pacific but are working at full capacity and using technology to ensure our Pacific neighbours are still supported through the pandemic.’ 

“To all New Zealanders, while you’re looking after your families and your communities, and that’s your priority, don’t forget that our nearest cousins, brothers and sisters in the Pacific need our help too and they’re in a much more vulnerable position than us,” she said.

“If you can keep donating to the charities that you already donate too, please keep doing that and look out for any fundraising that does come your way. Please we need your help.”

(Vivien) Maidaborn knows the potential a virus like Covid-19 will have on the Pacific’s most vulnerable countries if it isn’t stopped in its tracks. The Pacific islands have numerous issues that need urgent addressing like access to freshwater for rural villages and the lack of medical equipment to deal with the virus.

“We are in a completely unique situation,” Maidaborn said. 

“We have to see the Pacific as our neighbourhood and we have to continue to support them and other vulnerable communities. Countries are running out of medical supplies – masks, gowns, gloves, goggles and swabs. Unicef is racing against time to fill the supply gaps. We’re scaling up our efforts to deliver tonnes of medical supplies around the world. We’re even supplying oxygen equipment, desperately needed by the most severely ill.

“We know that handwashing with clean water and soap is the first line of defence against Covid-19 and yet so many people can’t access clean water in the Pacific. It’s critical that we continue to provide clean water and soap.”  

Also, this article in Stuff raised similar issues and highlighted 3 new cases in Samoa.

 CID will continue to work with the sector once everyone has had a chance to settle into lockdown, to get the message out NZ needs to continue to support aid agencies helping not just in NZ but standing by to help in the Pacific when the need comes.

 

Charity Sector Response to Covid-19 videocall

There is a meeting on Zoom to discuss the 'NZ Charity Sector Response to COVID-19: Impacts, discussion and action plan' taking place on Friday, 27th March at 12:00pm - 2:00pm. Please follow the link to register for this meeting, where the issues being faced (financial, staff, support, mental, legal etc) will be discussed and as well as an action plan appealing to Government and raising profile of the impact on Charities in New Zealand. Aaron Davy, CID's Standards & Humanitarian Manager, will attend the meeting on behalf of CID and will report to our members.

 

FAQ from INGOs

Let us know your questions and we will try and find out answers for you. Email questions to office@cid.org.nz

Here is the latest official advice from MSD (with thanks to the MFAT team for their help)

  • Do INGOs need to enter a NZBN? 

If you’re applying for leave or wage subsidies, INGOs do not have to enter an NZBN (New Zealand Business Number). Please see the note from MFAT (Thanks, Nick!): The NZBN number now no longer a required field – please seethe amended application form here.

  • If I’m an employer of a registered charity, incorporated society, non-government organisation, or post settlement governance entity am I entitled to apply for the wage subsidy for my employees?

Yes, you can apply for the wage subsidy if your business has been adversely affected as a result of COVID-19 and you are struggling to retain your employees.

  • If I’m an employer of a registered charity, incorporated society, non-government organisation, or post settlement governance entity am I entitled to apply for the leave payment for my employees?

Yes, you can apply for the leave payment if your employees are required to self-isolate because of Ministry of Health Guidelines and cannot work from home. Employees may not be able to work from home because:

  1. of the nature of their occupation e.g. tradespeople or you cannot provide employees with the ability to work from home e.g. no access to laptops.
  2. they have been diagnosed with COVID-19
  3. they are caring for dependents.
  • Can INGOs be counted as ‘essential services’ so we can continue fundraising and mail outs? 

At the moment this is not clear, but the list of essential services is not fixed and CID will continue to follow up MFAT and others to make the case that INGOs need to fundraise to be in a position to respond in the Pacific. Check the newsletter for updates from MSD. 

  • Are INGOs eligible to access the leave and wage subsidies from the government? 

INGOs can access the leave and sick pay extensions for staff and even contractors – as long as each person is legally employed. All indications are that if INGOs fit the criteria, they can apply for the wage subsidy too (eg they can prove they have lost 30% of revenue compared with the same time last year. Check the CID COVID-19 updates for contacts and links to follow up directly on behalf of your organisation.

 

CID members update - Let us know any updates from your organisation

Fairtrade

Staff are working well from home and are well connected to receive any queries and/or communications by email at info@fairtrade.com.au / info@fairtrade.org.nz. Except for on-the-ground tasks in the Pacific, all other work is almost functioning as usual, but remotely.  

Their priority right now is ensuring staff remain safe and their well-being is well addressed, to priorities activities that they can prosecute ourselves such as strengthening licensees and linking with Fairtrade International to track impacts on producers and sales.

 

Global Development Group

Global Development Group has temporarily ceased all non-essential travel – both international and domestic – and all our project administrators and volunteers have cancelled their trips, returned home, or are in the process of returning home to then enjoy two weeks of self-isolation ‘holidays’. 

Our volunteer staff are continuing to work from home, with connectivity through normal work email, and with back office support from our Australian office.

 

Habitat for Humanity

Habitat have developed contingency plans, devised systems that will allow our staff to work from home, and halted all overseas travel arrangements for now. 

“We have made the difficult decision to cancel all Global Village builds until June and continue to support our regional offices with information and resources,” says CEO Alan Thorpe.

 

VSA

VSA has temporarily paused all overseas programmes and is in the process of bringing all volunteers back to NZ. Most have now returned and are being placed in self-isolation. 

A full working from home trial was undertaken, and the Wellington office is moving to reduced staffing from next week with a number of staff working remotely. All have connectivity through normal work e-mail.

 

Hagar

Hagar staff will be working from home after this week, and programmes have changed to cease person to person contact, and shift to phone and social media contact. 

 

Tearfund

The Tearfund team will prepare from this Monday to Wednesday to close the office from Thursday 26 March and staff will work from home.

“We will spend the next three day preparing to run all Tearfund’s services to supporters largely without the office from Thursday,” says CEO Ian McInnes

 

 Ākina 

Everyone is now working from home and our offices are closed.  

"We are working on how we can support social enterprises to be resilient at this time and looking at how we can pivot our immediate priorities towards solutions that keep New Zealand's growing social & community enterprise sector strong,” says CEO Louise Aitkin.

 

CWS

Staff are working from home now.

 

UNANZ  

Cancelled their twice-yearly National Council face to face meeting over this weekend, but held it very successfully on Google Hangouts with 23 attendees from Prague to Christchurch. The office is closed and President Peter Nichols is working remotely from home.

 

Save the Children

The Save the Children team tested working from home on Friday and will work from home until further notice.

"My main goal is to keep staff safe, support our donors in this time, and provide resources for parents (and government) through our website,” says CEO Heidi Coetzee.

 

ChildFund

Most of the Childfund team are now working from home and by tomorrow the physical office will be closed until further notice. Staff will work from home, and remain in close contact with their partners, in particular their team in Kiribati, and they are preparing for any response in Tarawa.

“We’re striving to maintain business as usual. It’s important we remain flexible and resilient including supporting our people (partners, staff, donors, communities) as much as we can.  Our purpose and mission are unchanged.  Our compassion for each other will get us through this uncertain time,” says CEO Paul Brown.

 

CBM

CBM will trial 2 days this week of staff working from home (with some compulsory due to recent travel or medical preconditions). Aim to have no more than 25% of staff present at any one time. The office is not closing. Calls will be redirected to staff phones. Priorities are (1) Staying on top of Covid-19 preparedness (2) finishing submissions for Manaaki and starting other projects (3) fundraising and major donor work before the end of FY.

 

WWF 

WWF will be closing their office at the end of today, and all working for home thereafter. Luckily they had instigated a trial 'work from home Fridays' since November last year, with the following  platforms up and running to communicate with each other:

- Zoom

- Slack

- Asana

From now on they will have a 15 minute morning check-in meeting at 9 am for the whole organisation. And also set up fun Zoom sessions around lunchtimes, eg what to cook, how to play the guitar, meditate or filet a fish!

 

Counselling Services

Family and Community Services National Directory: 0800 211 211 (This helpline will transfer you to other appropriate services) 

Youthline
: Call: 0800 376 633 Text: 234 Email: talk@youthline.co.nz
Or webchat at www.youthline.co.nz (webchat available 7pm – 11pm)

The Low Down
 (support for young people experiencing depression or anxiety) www.thelowdown.co.nz or Text 5626

Lifeline 24/7 Helpline
: 0800 543 354

Mental health Crisis team
: 0800 754 477

Need to talk
: Free call/ TXT – 1737

Samaritans
: 0800 726 666

Depression Helpline
: 0800 111 757 or TXT 4202. Email: www.depression.org.nz

Kidsline
: 0800543754

Parent help
: 0800 568 856

Tags:

Global Health