COVID-19 in CAR: “Leave no one behind”
The Central African Republic which is one of the poorest countries in the world and is already facing one of the worst humanitarian crises, now has to face the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic. Humanity & Inclusion's teams are working to ensure people with disabilities and vulnerable individuals at risk of exclusion are included in epidemic prevention actions.
A person with disabilities followed by HI, Bambari, Central African Republic (CAR) | © A. Surprenant/Collectif Item/HI
In this context, HI’s teams are working  to improve messages on the risk of COVID-19 and the need for community involvement. Our teams are also raising awareness in the most vulnerable groups in order for them to be prepared and to protect themselves from the virus. The teams also provide support to local actors, authorities and organisations, and build their capacity to monitor and prevent infections. This is done in coordination with the national crisis unit.
Helping people with disabilities and “at risk of exclusion” to access humanitarian assistance
In a situation made worse by COVID-19, for people with disabilities; particularly the most dependent who have a sensory or intellectual impairment or who require regular care, the lack of information and the difficulties in accessing services, added to the stigma they suffer, can lead communities to neglecting them. This could be fatal. A study by HI in CAR revealed that 43% of people with disabilities suffer discrimination when accessing care and social services, and humanitarian aid.
However, people with disabilities are not the only ones to face this problem. Many other groups are at risk of being excluded, including older people, displaced people, many of them very poor, and people with chronic illness. As a result, we work at multiple levels, taking a highly integrated approach, and raise the awareness of other actors to ensure the most vulnerable individuals are systematically included in all assistance services, including emergency response.
Inclusive messages and actions: leaving no one behind
HI’s COVID-19 awareness-raising and prevention actions are designed to ensure “no one is left behind”. We adapt our messages to each vulnerable group - people over the age of 60, members of disabled people’s organisations and people with chronic illnesses - so they then pass on these messages to their own networks.
HI’s teams visit people’s homes to raise awareness of hygiene and basic personal precautionary measures that help prevent the spread of the virus. They also train community representatives, members of young people’s organisations, women and people with disabilities to teach basic prevention measures and best practices to members of their networks.
Logistical support to the Covid-19 response
In response to Covid-19, HI transports humanitarian aid and uses this opportunity to make road hauliers aware of basic precautionary measures. As lorry drivers frequently pick up supplies in Cameroon, an area which is affected by the virus, these individuals run greater risks than others
 With financial support from the Luxembourg Ministry of Foreign Affairs, UKAid, and the French Centre de Crise & de Soutien