The Ethiopian Red Cross Society (ERCS) announced a $1.6 million contribution from the Mastercard Foundation to support COVID-19 preparedness and response activities.
The commitment from the Mastercard Foundation COVID-19 Recovery and Resilience Program will primarily help strengthen ERCS’s ongoing pandemic prevention and response initiatives, including screening, house-to-house detection, sanitization, and the provision of personal protective equipment to volunteers and people in need.
“There is no blueprint for navigating this global pandemic. The actions we take now will shape the post-COVID-19 world. This crisis is teaching us how interdependent we are as well as how powerful collective action can be,” said Reeta Roy, Mastercard Foundation President and CEO.
The project, anticipated to benefit 5.7 million individuals, requires the deployment of more than 700 ERCS volunteers who will serve in coordination with the Ethiopian Public Health Institute and the Ministry of Health, Risk Communication Community Engagement program. The project, which will target communities across all regions in Ethiopia, will launch in June 2020 and run for six months. It will focus on the following outcomes:
• Large scale screening of more than 1.6 million people for COVID-19 by measuring body temperature with the aid of infrared thermostats;
• Targeting 3.6 million people through house-to-house detection to identify signs of COVID-19 such as coughing and breathing difficulties;
• Provision of prevention and protective equipment, devices, and sanitizing for some 3,800 frontline health workers in targeted hospitals and quarantine centers; and
• Installation of handwashing facilities in 20 key locations to reach more than 1 million people.
The Ethiopian Red Cross Society, through its various structures reaching down to the community level, has been at the forefront of emergency response undertakings with its Risk Communication and Community Engagement programs since the first Coronavirus case was identified in Ethiopia in mid-March 2020.
“The Ethiopian Red Society has been there since the start of national COVID-19 preparedness activities, even before the first confirmed case was reported in Ethiopia. Two months into this health care emergency, we are engaged in multiple prevention and disease control activities throughout the country. This situation requires more strengthened partnerships and solidarity from partners. The generous support we received from the Mastercard Foundation is of paramount importance to sustain such humanitarian and resilience building endeavors. Together, we will work to minimize the negative impacts of the pandemic on vulnerable communities,“ said Meshesha Shewarega (PhD) ERCS Secretary General.
The Mastercard Foundation COVID-19 Recovery and Resilience Program is assisting institutions and communities in Africa to withstand and respond to the short-term impacts of the pandemic, while strengthening their resilience in the long-run.
“The prospects of young people in Africa will be deeply impacted by COVID-19 as they face widespread illness, unemployment, food insecurity, social isolation, and hardships. First, we need to address immediate needs such as providing support to health workers and first responders and then, together with our partners, the Mastercard Foundation will continue to work towards seeing young people, especially young women, access quality education, skills, financial services, and dignified work,” said Alemayehu Konde Koira, Country Head, Ethiopia at the Mastercard Foundation.