Photo Journal: COVID-19 Humanitarian Responses Around the World

June 3, 2020
Written by Olivia Giovetti

This is what COVID-19 response looks like in some of the most vulnerable and fragile communities around the world.

In the first week of April, the total number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 around the world surpassed 1 million. Many of the 23 countries that Concern currently works have yet to see a large number of cases (in some cases due to a lack of available testing or data).

Here’s what COVID-19 humanitarian response looks like in some of the communities where Concern works.

COVID-19 Response in Afghanistan

As a response to limit the spread of COVID-19, Concern Afghanistan installed a water tanker, handwashing liquid and hygiene messaging banners in 10 parts of Taloqan City. (Photo: Concern Worldwide)

Taloqan locals welcomed the initiative with some shop owners donating handwashing liquid and soap to the hand washing points. (Photo: Concern Worldwide)

Hygiene messaging banners hang in Taloqan City. (Photo: Concern Worldwide)

COVID-19 Response in Bangladesh

In Bangladesh, we at Concern have worked to ensure the availability of a month’s supply of food to the Rohingya refugees that we support in the camps Cox’s Bazar while also supporting 3 districts in other parts of the country. We’re also working with local mosques to share critical messages about prevention via their microphone during prayers.

Woman putting up COVID-19 poster in Bangladesh

The Sustainable Forests and Livelihoods (SUFAL) Project team distributed COVID-19 leaflets to the project beneficiaries, local market, Upazila/Union office by using local volunteers and project staffs. (Photo: Concern Worldwide)

The local administration/community people appreciate this since it is the first type of material they have received. (Photo: Md. Mohidul Hasan/ Concern Worldwide)

For safety, the team have provided masks and hand gloves to the volunteers. (Photo: Md. Mohidul Hasan/ Concern Worldwide)

As a next course of action the volunteers will be continuing to distribute the leaflets to their neighbors and will facilitate one-to-one discussions supported by Concern Bangladesh. (Photo: Md. Mohidul Hasan/ Concern Worldwide)

COVID-19 Response in Bangladesh’s Rohingya Refugee Camps

Environmental Cleaning and Disinfection of Nutrition Center with disinfectant solution by a Nutrition Volunteers (wearing personal protective equipment) to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission at the nutrition centre at a Refugee Camp in Coxs Bazar, Bangladesh. (Photo: Concern Worldwide)

A Concern Staff member facilitating a nutritional training session at a Concern-supported site in a Rohingya refugee camp, Bangladesh. (Photo: Shah Arafat Rahman / Concern Worldwide)

Physical distancing in Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh

Physical distancing in action at a Concern nutrition center in one of the Rohingya displacement camps near Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh, as a means of preventing the spread of Coronavirus.

Concern Worldwide National Volunteer, Yesmin teaches Mahir* a community member how to use a protective mask as safety shield from COVID-19 (Photo: AKM Jakaria / Concern Worldwide)
*name changed for security

Rajiya Begum (OTP/TSFP Counsellor) giving one to one orientation to Salma* (Programme Participant) on household-level hygiene practice to prevent coronavirus. (Photo: AKM Jakaria / Concern Worldwide)
*name changed for security

Kona* a Concern programme participant washing her hands as a preventative measure to the spread of COVID-19 (Photo: AKM Jakaria / Concern Worldwide)
*name changed for security

Uzair*, a Rohingya volunteer, helps Concern Worldwide on double distribution to Rina*, a program participant, in response to movement reduction measures in Bangladesh. (Photo: AKM Jakaria / Concern Worldwide)
*names changed for security

COVID-19 Response in Burundi

With high levels of poverty, malnutrition and maternal mortality, Burundi is one of the poorest countries in the world — with 80% of the population living in extreme poverty.

Concern Graduation beneficiaries in front of the shop they have set up as part of the program. They have taken the initiative to establish a hand-washing station in front of the shop and they report soap sales have increased in the last few days as communities receive training on the importance of handwashing to prevent COVID-19 transmission. (Photo: Maud Biton / Concern Worldwide)

Team members receive a training on COVID-19 so they can in turn brief beneficiaries. The room is large enough to allow social distancing and with large windows for ventilation. (Photo: Maud Biton / Concern Worldwide)

A handwashing station outside a local shop in Burundi, powered by Graduation. (Photo: Maud Biton / Concern Worldwide)

Burundians wash their hands at a nearby health center before the start of a meeting and sit with respect for new social distancing norms. (Photo: Maud Biton / Concern Worldwide)

COVID-19 Response in Central African Republic

The arrival of the coronavirus is expected to exacerbate the vulnerabilities of a population who are already coping with ongoing conflict.

As a preventative measure to Covid-19 Concern Worldwide hosted an awareness building session including a hand washing demonstration, at the office of the mayor, Bossembele, Ombella M’Poko, Central African Republic Photo: Gloria De Marchi / Concern Worldwide

As a preventative measure to Covid-19 Concern Worldwide hosted an awareness building session at the office of the mayor, Bossembele, Ombella M’Poko, Central African RepublicPhoto: Gloria De Marchi / Concern Worldwide

COVID-19 Response in Chad

The Concern team in Chad is working with Ministry of Health and WHO to raise awareness on COVID-19 prevention.

A group of people sitting on blankets outside

Training of community Volunteers on COVID-19 prevention, May 2020 in Fagatar, Sila Province, Chad. (Photo: Concern Animator Abdelkerim)

A group of people in Chad

Training of community volunteers on COVID-19 prevention in Chad. (Photo: Concern / Animator Abdelkerim.)

Women distributing soap in Chad

Distribution of soap in Djati, Chad (Photo: Abdoulaye Abderamane/ Concern Worldwide)

Men on the back of a truck with a loudspeaker

Sensitization through mobile speakers in Goz Beida, April 2020 in Goz Beida, Sila Province, Chad. (Photo: Concern Animator)

Training of community Volunteers on COVID-19 prevention, May 2020 in Esterena, Sila Province, Chad. (Photo: Pelagie Dembaye)

Hand washing kits ready to be delivered to the community and health centers, May 2020 in Zabout, Sila Province, Chad. (Photo: Ndouatan Olivier)

COVID-19 Response in the Democratic Republic of Congo

At the end of the world’s second-largest Ebola outbreak, the DRC is fighting further contagion of the Novel Coronavirus with health worker training, social distancing and health education, including handwashing.

IPC training

Training of health workers in Infection Prevention and Control (IPC) in North Kivu, DRC.

DRC villagers observe social distancing and handwashing as part of COVID-19 humanitarian response

Beneficiaries observe social distancing and wash their hands before receiving distributions in Kasai Province, DRC. (Photo: Elysée Muadi Nyembwe/ Concern Worldwide)

Beneficiaries observe social distancing and wash their hands before receiving distributions in Kasai Province, DRC. Concern Worldwide

Another view of social distancing during a supply distribution in Kasai Province, DRC. (Photo: Elysée Muadi Nyembwe / Concern Worldwide)

COVID-19 Response in Ethiopia

A soap distribution in Ethiopia

Concern Ethiopia staff preparing a distribution of 2000 bathing soaps, 350 boxes (175,000 tablets) of metronizadole and sachets of ORS given to partner, IOM to distribute to quarantine centers which are housing over 2,000 deportees and returnees. (Photo: Concern Worldwide)

Bezabihe Ondo, Concern Wash infrastructure Manager leads a demonstration on COVID-19 prevention in Ethiopia. (Photo: Concern Worldwide)

The demonstration included handwashing and physical distancing. (Photo: Concern Worldwide)

Concern staff members Merihun, Eyerusalem and Tefera lead a Covid-19 awareness creation and hand-washing demonstration. To date Concern Ethiopia has reached over 3,000 REGRADE beneficiaries, including the distribution of 4,000 soap and 200 sanitizers. (Photo: Concern Worldwide)

At the nutrition center in Gambella, Ethiopia, beneficiaries wait to use the hand washing station before entering. (Photo: Adamu Girma / Concern Worldwide)

COVID-19 Response in Haiti

The neighborhoods in which Concern works in Port-au-Prince are densely packed, with few public services and poor hygiene and sanitation.

Francois Wilchy, left, staff of Concern talks to Sonyta Lexine, as he gives her COVID-19 prevention hygiene kits during a distribution in Cité Soleil, a district of Port-au-Prince, Haiti (Photo: Dieu Nalio Chery / Concern Worldwide)

Journo Lafalaise, left, Concern Worldwide staff member gives COVID-19 prevention instruction to a resident during a distribution of hygiene kits by Concern Worldwide in Cité Soleil (Photo: Dieu Nalio Chery / Concern Worldwide)

Jean Yolene (39), left, poses for a picture with Minerve Joseph (58), with hygiene kits on their heads after a distribution in Cité Soleil, Port-au-Prince, Haiti. (Photo: Dieu Nalio Chery / Concern Worldwide)

Residents line up with social distancing measures for a distribution of hygienic prevention kits by Concern Worldwide in Cité Soleil. (Photo: Dieu Nalio Chery / Concern Worldwide)

COVID-19 Response in Iraq

The most vulnerable people in Iraq and those in acute need of humanitarian assistance are those directly affected by the recent conflict in Syria and Iraq.

A humanitarian distribution of COVID-19 prevention hygiene kits in Iraq

Nearly 2,900 COVID-19 prevention hygiene kits are distributed at an IDP camp in northern Iraq. Photos: Concern Worldwide

COVID-19 humanitarian aid distribution in Iraq

Nearly 2,900 COVID-19 prevention hygiene kits are distributed at an IDP camp in northern Iraq. Photos: Concern Worldwide

The COVID-19 prevention hygiene kits delivered as part of our humanitarian response to the pandemic include 10 bars of soap, 1 kilogram of laundry detergent, and 4 packs of sanitary pads.

A displaced woman in Northern Iraq receives a COVID-19 hygiene prevention kit and more information on prevention. Photo: Concern Worldwide

COVID-19 humanitarian kit for prevention and hygiene

Each of the COVID-19 prevention hygiene kits include 10 bars of bath soap, 1 kilogram of detergent, and 4 packets of sanitary pads. (Photo: Concern Worldwide)

A young girl in an IDP camp in Northern Iraq receives a delivery of COVID-19 hygiene prevention kits, distributed by Concern Worldwide. (Photo: UNOCHA)

COVID-19 Response in Lebanon

Like Iraq, Lebanon is currently host to hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees. Our team in Lebanon is helping to build tents for suspected COVID-positive cases, and also helping to spread the word on prevention to local communities.

Concern Lebanon team members provide information on prevention of the spread of COVID-19. (Photo: Concern Worldwide)

A member of the Concern Lebanon team builds a tent to use for suspected COVID-19–positive cases. The Noel Coronavirus has been in Lebanon since February 21, 2020. (Photo: Concern Worldwide)

Members of the Concern Lebanon team construct a tent that will be used as a temporary isolation ward/treatment center for suspected cases of COVID-19. The Novel Coronavirus threatens Lebanon’s large population of Syrian refugees, many living in communities where social distancing is a logistical impossibility. (Photo: Concern Worldwide)

COVID-19 Response in Liberia

Like Sierra Leone, Liberia was one of the centers of the West African Ebola Virus Epidemic between 2014 and 2016. The country recently declared a 3-week state of emergency, effective April 10, 2020.

Concern vehicles are adding in the distribution of information on COVID-19 and preventative measures in the Grand Bassa, Liberia. (Photo: Concern Worldwide)

The often undocumented side of pandemic (and all emergency) response is the critical foundation of communication and planning. A Grand Bassa County Surveillance Officer delivers a presentation on both the global and Liberia-specific COVID-19 pandemic to Concern staff members and community health volunteers in Buchanan district, Grand Bassa. This crucial step is part of a local social mobilization orientation and awareness raising training, supported by Concern. (Photo: Concern Worldwide)

Concern Field Assistant Jakson Kanteh delivers key messages on COVID-19 preventative measures to vendors and customers in Buchanan town central public market on April 7, 2020. (Photo: Concern Worldwide)

Concern provided logistical support to the government in getting face masks delivered to health centers, Concern transported masks to Grand Bassa and Rivercess. In Rivercress, Concern delivered 22,000 masks.

Concern Liberia Country Director, Dave Smith has a few essentials he takes before going outside. “It is the rainy season, so my umbrella is handy. But so are my face masks.”

COVID-19 Response in Malawi

Still recovering from last spring’s Cyclone Idai, Malawi currently has reported a small number of Coronavirus cases, a statistic we’d like to keep low with messaging from the Ministry of Health, social distancing, and handwashing.

Man in Malawi leading a handwashing demonstration

Samson Ngoma demonstrates proper hand washing technique using soap to community members. (Photo: Henry Mhango / Concern Worldwide)

Community health worker holding a bottle of hand sanitizer

Getruide Chimpango, a Community Health Volunteer, using hand sanitizer to educate her community members on best hand washing practices. (Photo: Henry Mhango / Concern Worldwide)

Agness Njolomole, a Community Health Volunteer demonstrating how she will teach people in her community on proper hand washing using sanitizer. Malawi Photo: Henry Mhango / Concern Worldwide

COVID-19 health demonstration in Malawi

Temwa Gondwe, a facilitator from a Lilongwe hospital in Malawi, leading a demonstration on new COVID-19 preventative measures. (Photo: Henry Mhango / Concern Worldwide)

Lilongwe Demonstration Primary School closed due to Covid-19 pandemic. Malawi Photo: Henry Mhango / Concern Worldwide

Social distancing in an empty market in Malawi

Gulayi Market, one of the busiest markets in Lilongwe, Malawi, is experiencing low customer turnout due to COVID-19 and social distancing. (Photo: Henry Mhango / Concern Worldwide)

Healthcare worker in Malawi washing her hands

Healthcare worker Jessy Mangani, washing hands at her hospital’s entrance before seeing a patient. (Photo: Henry Mhango / Concern Worldwide)

To help stop the spread of COVID-19, Yustar Chabwino washes her hands before attending the Livestock Committee Training in Mulanje District, under the EU-funded PROACT project in Malawi. (Photo: Concern Worldwide)

Gilbert Adam and Joyce Alabi, practice good hand washing to prevent the spread of COVID-19. They are attending the Concern Cash Support Distribution through he Graduation Program in Mangochi District, Malawai. (Photo: Levy Mwambarulu Kadrab / Concern Worldwide)

Concern employee Judith Cent distributing soap to the Health Surveillance Assistants (HSAs) and Community Health Volunteers (CHVs) to distribute among the community. (Photo: Concern Worldwide)

Concern employee Judith Cent distributing soap to the Health Surveillance Assistants (HSAs) and Community Health Volunteers (CHVs) to distribute among the community. (Photo: Concern Worldwide)

Patricia Moloko with her son George pictured with the soap and COVID-19 fliers they have received from Concern Malawi. (Photo: Concern Worldwide)

Shyreen Kamaliza with her sons Ramsy (in orange) and Leonard after receiving soap and COVID-19 fliers from Concern Worldwide. (Photo: Concern Worldwide)

Chrissy Kumvula; Senior HSA with intern Praise Padambo demonstrating new ways of greeting to the training participants as a COVID 19 preventative measure at Lilongwe Demonstration School. (Photo: Concern Worldwide)

Charles Matawula a Concern beneficiary pictured with soap and hadn washing information sheet in Lilongwe, Malawi (Photo: Concern Worldwide)

COVID-19 Response in Niger

In one of the world’s poorest countries and a host to refugees from several neighboring countries, handwashing stations and education sessions have been built and led to stave off the spread of COVID-19.

Soap and COVID-19 prevention information distribution at COGEHA in Folakawa, Tahoua, Niger. (Photo: Marie Rabo / Concern Worldwide)

In Tahoua, Niger, soaps are distributed to locals for handwashing and prevention hygiene. (Photo: Marie Rabo / Concern Worldwide)

Women in Tahoua, Niger receive soap at a COVID-19 prevention session. (Photo: Marie Rabo / Concern Worldwide)

COVID awareness and prevention session with social distancing. (Photo: Marie Rabo / Concern Worldwide)

COVID-19 Response in Pakistan

Concern staff members distribute informative leaflets to local community members in Pakistan as a means to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Photo: Prime Foundation / Concern Worldwide

Concern staff members distribute an informative leaflet to pharmacy owner Zarar* as part of our COVID-19 humanitarian response in Pakistan. Photo: Prime Foundation / Concern Worldwide (*Name changed for security purposes.)

In tribal districts bordering Afghanistan Concern has distributed 10,000 soaps, 6,000 face masks, 5,300 awareness raising pamphlets, 400 banners and 1 Ambulance to support the transportation of critical patients to the nearby designated health facility

Aryan* and his child Rusul* visit a health facility in Pakistan. To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, a healthcare staff member wearing PPE helps to wash their hands before they entering the center. Photo: Prime Foundation / Concern Worldwide (*Names changed for security.)

Gallery: Ambulances and other automobiles in Pakistan are fitted with COVID-19 information as a public health service.

COVID-19 Response in Rwanda

The first case of coronavirus in Rwanda was declared on March 14, 2020. One week later, with a total of 147 COVID-19 cases registered, the government declared confinement and restriction of non-essential movements in country.

Students in Concern’s Farmer Field Learning School (FFLS) activities, where they learn improved agricultural practices to produce more (and more nutritious) food. Sessions are now preceded by education on on COVID-19 prevention measures, including handwashing. (Rwanda Photo: Janvière Mukagasigwa / Concern Worldwide)

Students in Concern’s Farmer Field School in Rwanda also practice social distancing while still receiving vital training to keep their families well fed and nourished. (Photo: Janvière Mukagasigwa / Concern Worldwide)

Beneficiaries in Rwanda attend an informational session on COVID-19 prevention, as well as on gender equality and joint-decision-making to ensure the development of the household. This part of the session focused on cash transfers, which are being prepared as immediate aid for those who lose income during the pandemic. (Photo: Nadine Murkatete / Concern Worldwide)

COVID-19 Response in Sierra Leone

Concern already had an existing program in place in Sierra Leone to tackle the spread of malaria (and previously worked with our local partners to halt the spread of Ebola in 2014-16). We are adapting that program for a COVID-19 pandemic response.

Daddy Mansaray wearing a mask as a preventative measure against COVID-19, at his residence in Bassaia Village Tonkolili District Northern Sierra Leone. (Photo: Mohamed Saidu Bah / Concern Worldwide)

A resident of Bassaia Village Tonkolili District, Northern Sierra Leone looks at a COVID-19 poster distributed by Concern Worldwide after a prevention and education session. (Photo: Mohamed Saidu Bah / Concern Worldwide)

COVID-19 Response in Somalia

Currently, Somalia has 15 ICU beds for an estimated population of 15 million people. In response to a growing number of cases, Concern has joined our long-time local partner SHACDO (Shabelle Community Development Organization) to scale up our response and prevention measures at our health and nutrition facilities in Lower Shabelle.

A Concern/SHACDO health and nutrition staff training for COVID-19 response and prevention in Lower Shabelle. Photo: Concern Worldwide

Health facilities in Somalia struggle for resources, but have implemented new measures to separate people while seeking services such as controlled patient pathways from one area to the next. A key feature has been to include ample hand washing stations. Photo: Concern Worldwide

SHACDO and Concern have been raising awareness in Somalia regarding the importance of proper hand and cough hygiene in combination with hand-washing demonstrations for both staff and patients in Somalia. Photo: Concern Worldwide

COVID-19 Response in Sudan

Meetings hosted with social distancing measures to raise awareness of COVID-19, importantly spreading information on prevention in western Sudan. (Photo: Concern Worldwide)

Nutrition staff taking MUAC at a Concern Nutrition facilities. The facility staff have been trained in measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 including hand washing and social distancing. West Darfur, Sudan. (Photo: Concern Worldwide)

Nutrition staff attending to one of the children receiving treatment at nutrition facilities. Parents and children attending the facility follow advice on social distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19. West Darfur, Sudan (Photo: Concern Worldwide)

To help reduce the spread of COVID-19 beneficiaries wash hands before entering Concern supported Nutrition Facility in West Darfur. With support from Irish Aid, Concern Worldwide has Installed 13 hand washing stations in 13 health facilities. (Photo: Concern Worldwide)

COVID-19 Response in Syria

In March of 2020, the protracted Syrian crisis entered its tenth year. Later in the month, the capital city of Damascus confirmed its first case of COVID-19. With millions of Syrians internally displaced in crowded areas, prevention is of the highest priority.

Continuing COVID -19 awareness raising campaign in a camp in northern Syria Photo: Concern Worldwide

A COVID-19 prevention discussion conducted in a northern community in Syria. (Photo: Concern Worldwide)

More on what we’re doing

The COVID-19 pandemic is poised to have a catastrophic impact on the world’s poorest communities. Drawing on our long experience helping to control outbreaks like Ebola, we’re training and equipping teams across 23 countries to respond, and providing the most vulnerable communities with the resources they need to survive. Every context is different so we’ll respond with what’s needed most, including:

  • Providing personal protective equipment (PPE) to health workers
  • Creating handwashing stations, distributing hygiene supplies, and providing other sanitation services to help prevent the spread
  • Ensuring communities get accurate and life-saving health information through print, radio, and text message campaigns
  • Supporting and training health facility staff
  • Providing cash transfers and livelihood and education support

We’re able to respond with such quickness and agility because of your committed support. It is the essential resource of our work. You can empower even more work by donating to our COVID-19 response.

Get updates on the fight against COVID-19 in the most vulnerable communities