In Lebanon, due to the relatively low-recorded confirmed cases so far, our team’s focus is all about adaptation, preparedness and mitigation.
On March 15, the Government of Lebanon imposed new restrictions aimed at reducing the risk of contamination and as a result, public administrations and institutions, public and private schools, and nurseries were all closed. On April 22, the first COVID-19 case was recorded in a refugee camp. With little access to lifesaving health care and not physically being able to practise safe social distancing, this is deeply concerning.
As it is currently all about prevention, our teams are working to contain the virus amongst Lebanon’s most vulnerable communities by distributing hygiene kits to Syrian refugees and essential leaflets on how to keep safe from COVID-19, reaching 4,000 individuals so far.
We have also just finished the rehabilitation of a 50-room disused school as an isolation facility for suspected COVID-19 cases. We are strengthening remote case management work, which supports survivors of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV), child protection and intimate partner violence (IPV).
A deeply distressing result of the extended lockdown in Lebanon is that SGBV and IPV cases are on the rise. To better assist those that need our help, our teams have set-up a 24/7 hotline for psychological support. Concern’s Case Management Officer in Lebanon, Siba Bizri, discusses how her team has had to adapt and rely on accessing people who contacted them through the hotline number, for providing the support to the targeted individuals.