Local organisation at the centre of early action in COVID-19 response in Assam
COVID-19 is spreading across the state Assam at alarming speed taking the total number of coronavirus cases to 65 now. This is an unprecedented crisis and calls for unprecedented measures. The impact of this global outbreak is being felt everywhere across all our operation areas in the state which is hitting the poor and marginalized the hardest. With the current lockdown a lot many secondary disasters are waiting to emerge soon if situation continue to be same such as fragile public health, crisis of food, malnutrition, psychological stress, domestic violence, conflict, disturbance in peoples livelihood who are already economically more vulnerable etc.
North – East Affected Area Development Society (NEADS) is one of the local civil society organisation of the state Assam, the north-ear part of India working to strengthen resilience and reduce risk in communities. The organisation is recognised for its work on humanitarian response and advocacy, disaster risk reduction, climate change adaptation, human rights and sustainable development.
Being a local organisation working to promote the wellbeing of humanity, NEADS has been starting its emergency response and other allied life saving programmes to the impact of pandemic COVID19 among the severely hit families of the districts of Jorhat and Golaghat currently. The financial supports are being provided presently by Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), Mercy Relief, Singapore and Rotary International, Canada. Presently NEADS is able to extend assistance to more than 1500 families and reaching out to around 7000 people with dry rations kits, hygiene promotion support and awareness generation activities. These people are living in extreme poverty and range of other vulnerabilities.
NEADS is making every effort to anticipate and working out with necessary preparation for responding to the impact of the pandemic in communities stricken by poverty. The organisation’s response aim is to address the needs of the most vulnerable people living in the floodplain, distant area, river island, tea workers families and tribal communities who are already living with a range of other vulnerabilities. Also NEADS is focusing on public health preparedness, protection of people’s rights and mitigation of larger social and economic impacts in long term at the face of such unprecedented crisis.
NEADS is working in close coordination with the local administration, District Disaster Management Authority (DDMA) and the State Inter Agency Group (IAG). A Rapid Response Team has been engaged to carry out all vital services to every extent possible and stand ready to address immediate concerns of peoples in the community at risk and prevent hazards from becoming disasters.