COVID-19 pandemic: Qudra 2’s response

While the pandemic has led to a tragic loss of human life worldwide, it also strained healthcare systems, disrupted education, the economy and people’s everyday lives.

To contain the spread of COVID-19, countries applied strict measures such as movement restrictions, lockdowns, and border closures, which resulted in significant reductions in income, a rise in unemployment, trade and transportation disruption.

The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the already existing social and economic challenges in Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey resulting from the war in Syrian and conflict in Iraq.

In all four countries, the Qudra 2 programme supports individuals, communities and institutions to cope with, and adapt to, the challenges of protracted crises in close cooperation with local partners.

Because of its mission and strong partnerships, Qudra 2 could flexibly support the fight against COVID-19. The support has addressed both short- and long-term implications of the COVID-19 crisis.

On World Health Day, Qudra 2 highlights its response during the COVID-19 pandemic in the programme’s four partner countries.

The programme’s support in Iraq covered mental health, employment and basic services.

  • 33,186 primary healthcare consultations were conducted with refugees and host communities.
  • 10,323 people were reached through COVID-19 related health education activities. To this end, for example, 75 employees from Mosul General Hospital were trained as mental health and psychosocial support providers.
  • 210 young medical school graduates were trained in primary, secondary and tertiary health care services to support medical personnel at public hospitals in the governorates of Erbil, Dohuk, Sulaymaniyah and Halabja in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq (KRI).
  • Three quick impact projects responding to COVID-19 were implemented in KRI, directly benefitting 59,400 people. The projects included the establishment of the first diagnostic laboratory in Halabja, the addition of an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) to the Qalawchalan Hospital of the Peshmerga Health foundation in Sulaymaniyah and the provision of electric generator and electricity installation for a newly established COVID-19 hospital in Erbil.

The programme’s support in Jordan is focused on supporting municipalities to address COVID-19, in addition to developing the skills of journalists covering health issues including COVID-19. 

  • The Ministry of Local Administration has received grant funding to address the COVID-19 crisis. 1,400 gallons of sterilization material, 3 tractors and 6 sprayer tanks were distributed to the Ministry for use in local communities.
  • A series of workshops targeting local media outlets and journalists have been implemented, addressing media literacy, health coverage and the impact of COVID-19 on vulnerable communities amongst other topics.

The programme continued to deliver valuable psychosocial support services to beneficiaries, in partnership with Ministry of Social Affairs and local NGOs.

  • 2,743 beneficiaries in Lebanon received mental health and psychosocial support, which included addressing the mental health impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The programme implemented five Community Support Projects (CSPs) that have directly responded to COVID-19 through the provision of hygiene kits, awareness-raising materials, training, and personal protection materials. All activities were implemented together with the Turkish Union of Municipalities and municipalities, particularly along the South-Eastern border to Syria, including Kilis, Şanliurfa and Kahramanmaraş among others.

  • More than 32,000 beneficiaries received hygiene kits to combat COVID-19.
  • 160,000 adults received masks and information to protect themselves from COVID-19.
  • More than 271,000 community members were informed about COVID-19 prevention.
  • 1,000 children received health education kits and 750 children received masks.
  • In Kilis, 40 women received on-the-job training in sewing and are now producing masks for the community.
  • 1,001 municipal staff in 8 municipalities received personal protective equipment and training through the Union of Municipalities.

Along with addressing the impact of multiple crises, the Qudra 2 programme will continue to support countries in the region to address the long-term consequences of the pandemic in the areas of education and psychosocial support, employment and basic services.