Duel crises in the Pacific, Managing volunteers, TC Harold update, and more
Posted on 21 April 2020
+ Update on TC Harold (Vanuatu, Fiji & Tonga)
Initial assessments have identified there are 81 health facilities in the areas severely impacted by TC Harold. There have also been a total of 10 medical evacuations to Vila Central Hospital as a result of injuries sustained from TC Harold.
The Education Cluster has reported that schools on Malo and Aore islands, off the coast of Luganville, have been completely destroyed. The Education Cluster is conducting an in-depth assessment of schools in the cyclone-affected area this week.
To prevent the coronavirus from being brought to Vanuatu, officials have banned foreign personnel from entering the country, with the National Disaster Management Office (NDMO) stating; “This is an internally run response. We need to work together." While responses from Australia and New Zealand are flying in relief items, any supplies that enter are being quarantined for three days and disinfected to ensure there is no lingering coronavirus.
But while issues relating to COVID-19 are being managed during the response, potential for other outbreaks is also of great concern. Vanuatu health authorities state has reported one confirmed case of dengue in Luganville. Health messaging is being sent out to help prevent an outbreak.
In Fiji yesterday, Prime Minister Bainimarama addressed the country and reported that more than 180,000 Fijians have had their homes and livelihoods affected by TC Harold, more than 500 homes have been destroyed, and many hundreds have suffered damage. In Tonga, the Government is finalising its TC Harold Response Plan, and assessments are currently underway on damage to schools and crops.
+ Duel crises will hit Pacific hard
"Of all the regions in the world, the twin health and economic crises caused by the Covid-19 pandemic have the potential to hit the Pacific the hardest," writes Pat Conroy at theLowy Institute.
"At latest count there are 266 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Pacific island countries and seven deaths from the disease. The governments of at least 10 Pacific island countries have imposed states of emergency. Health workers with only a handful of ventilators at their disposal are bracing against more severe outbreaks."
The Cook Islands, for example have 80 hospital beds and two respirators for a population of just over 21,000 people. At the moment they have declared themselves COVID free. But can they keep the virus out long term?
For those already living with the effects of poverty in our region, the outlook is grim.
COVID-19 is revealing systemic weaknesses across the Pacific that we've known about for along time:
Overburdened and weak local health systems
Lack of health resources, basic equipment and infrastructure
Inadequate water, sanitation and hygiene services in remote regions
An over dependence on tourism as a source of revenue.
Reduction in commercial fishing as a results of travel restrictions, and a reduction in fish exports
Delay in construction work because of lack of availability of labour and material
Reduction in remittances
Decline in earnings from Sovereign Wealth Funds which provide government revenue for Kiribati and Timor-Leste
What's needed is a co-ordinated regional response, particularly from Australia and New Zealand:
Phase 1 - humanitarian response
Phase 2 - Economic rebuild
Phase 3 - Build resilience
This is what a Pacific Reset needs to look like now.
+ Managing Volunteers during the Alert Levels
Volunteering New Zealand has captured the status and the contribution of the volunteering sector during the COVID-19 pandemic. Theirlatest report summarises the key pointsextracted from volunteer-involving organisations’ weekly updates over the last month. It importantly identifies a number of opportunities during this challenging time:
Developing best practices for volunteering during pandemics and emergencies
Identifying those volunteer activities that have been continued with no or minimum disruption
Producing a knowledge base on volunteering and volunteer management during pandemics
Conducting surveys to capture valuable insights about the sector’s status, preparedness, initiatives, and etc
Critical opportunity to register and engage volunteers who are specifically interested in volunteering during emergencies.
On the 17th April, the NZ Government also updated their guidelines for volunteers undertaking essential servicesand working under the direction of an essential service provider. These should be used along with any volunteering operational guidelines provided by that service provider.
Lockdowns across the developing world are having adverse effects in some places.
Nigeriansecurity forces have killed 18 people in their enforcement of measures to curb coronavirus, a figure higher than the documented toll inflicted by the disease, the country's human rights body said.
India'slockdown has been extended amid concerns it hits the poorest communities the hardest, and fears that a major coronavirus outbreak in the country - one of the world's most densely populated - could result in a humanitarian catastrophe.
Aone-size-fits-allapproach to fighting the virus could lead to even more suffering in the developing world, writes Kelsey Piper at Vox.
"In rich countries, lockdowns are rough. In poor ones, they haven’t stopped the virus — and can lead to greater suffering."
+ ODA up in 2019 but uncertain future
Official development assistance increased slightly last year, according to initial data fromOECD. But with many donors in "domestic meltdown," next year looks uncertain.
"ODA from members of the OECD’s Development Assistance Committee (DAC) totalled USD 152.8 billion in 2019, a rise of 1.4% in real terms from 2018, according to preliminary data collected from official development agencies. Bilateral ODA to Africa and least-developed countries rose by 1.3% and 2.6% respectively. Excluding aid spent on looking after refugees within donor countries – which was down 2% from 2018 – ODA rose by 1.7% in real terms."
+ Looking after staff in COVID 19
BOND has some useful tips on keeping staff safe as lockdown continues and we adjust to new ways of working:
"U.K. civil society has called on the government to ensure that any COVID-19 vaccines or treatments developed with aid funding are patent-free to prevent pharmaceutical companies from “profiteering” from sales and to ensure they are accessible to lower-income countries."
+ The CID Weekly is Proudly Sponsored By
Direct Impact Group supports organisations to maximise their social impact, because changing the world isn't easy, and in dynamic times this work is more important than ever.
+ UNDP webinars available online
Experts from Southern and Northern think tanks have discussed how COVID-19 can create the momentum for more and better international cooperation in a 3-part webinar series by UNDP.
Here are the recordings of 'Post-COVID19: Implications for International Cooperation'Part I,Part II, andPart III. Also, some of the presentations are availablehere.
+ COVID-19: The worst is yet ahead of us
Director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, head of the World Health Organisation, has warned that “the worst is yet ahead of us” in the coronavirus outbreak, reviving the alarm just as many countries ease restrictive measures aimed at reducing its spread.
He has stated that COVID-19 could get worse, especially given the likely spread through Africa, where health systems are less developed.
In light of the uncertainty around the ongoing impact of COVID-19, the Partnerships team at MFAT would be grateful if NGO partners could include brief responses to the following two additional questions in any Manaaki round two applications, due on29 May 2020:
Please describe how the design and implementation of your proposed activity could be completed if COVID-19 conditions and restrictions still exist during those stages.
Please describe how the proposed activity remains relevant and/or could add value in the wake of COVID-19 (for example, will the activity help strengthen vulnerable and marginalised communities in some way, or respond to a current or anticipated need?).
Theapplication formhas been updated accordingly. You are also welcome, however, to send the extra information requested in a covering email or additional attachment when submitting your application, if either of those options is easier. Please feel free to reach out if you’ve any questions about this additional requirement (email@example.com).
Societies require a resilient energy base that can sustain jobs, therefore an urgent shift of the fossil fuel subsidies into renewable energy is needed.
Rethinking agriculture would be a second much-needed step, according to Khalid: satisfy nutrition needs, generate jobs, respect biodiversity, and build resilience to climate change-induced natural disasters, need to drive an agriculture production that cuts the use of pesticides and fertiliser, and plastic packaging, among other things.
Stopping deforestation for serving monoculture crops, is the third urgent action.
'This is a historic opportunity to ensure that ‘helicopter money’ is tied to real assets'. The post-Covid-19 world might look like one where local sustainable production and consumption are a reality of shared wellbeing.
+ IDYP announcements
IDYP is expanding to Wellington!
Over the last two years, IDYP have had YPs from Wellington ask us when we'll start planning events there. Well, the stars aligned, and we're ready to expand! Right now, we are looking for 3-4 volunteers to join an event-planning committee, based in Wellington. If this sounds interesting to YOU, please reach out with a short description of relevant experience & your interest, as well as a resume. Email to:firstname.lastname@example.org
Now accepting “IDYPx” short talk proposals!
Once again, IDYP is hosting fun TEDx style talks alongside our annual AGM, August 27 TBC, and we want YOU to have the opportunity to a submit an idea. Overall theme: International Development Topic: Up to you! Have something you've been itching to say to the sector? Choose a topic within the development sphere that you're interested to talk about. Speech duration: 10 minutes or less Format: Up to you! You can make it a speech, PowerPoint, video, etc. Bring out your creative side! Other requirements: Speech practice required, including attending two pre-event (online or in-person) sessions with other speakers.Must be an IDYP member. How do I submit an idea?: Send us a 30-second video pitching your idea: email@example.com The IDYP team is really looking forward to hearing your ideas!
2020 Election of the IDYP board:
We will be welcoming our 2020/21 Team at our AGM, August 27 TBC! Many of us have been on the board from the very start, and we are ready to hand IDYP over to the next group of passionate individuals. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’d like to learn more about a specific role and what it is like to be on the board. You can stand for election from anywhere in New Zealand.