In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, our country offices have taken precautions to ensure the safety of the staff and communities we work in. In addition to practising strong hygiene habits, the offices have undertaken the following steps:
In Bangladesh, the Country Office has readily begun working from home as the whole country experiences lockdowns and the suspension of all public transport. Recent concerns have been raised over the security of areas around Cox’s Bazar where misinformation has raised tension over the spread of the virus. The Bangladesh Country Office continues to monitor the situation and offer support to staff and their families during this time.
After reports of first cases of COVID-19 in Nigeria, the Country Office in Nigeria organised a seven person COVID-19 Response and Crisis Management Team. The team meets virtually and monitors the situation, providing regular updates to guide the staff via a WhatsApp group platform. Following the initiatives of the COVID-19 Response and Crisis Management team, the Country Office has initiated a work from home set up and all travel has been suspended. In order to remain connected with regional partners the Nigerian Country Office has instigated a ‘check-in’ email system where partners will provide weekly updates, remain in contact with the Country Office, and receive any updates that the Country Office has.
In an attempt spread the message of virus prevention as widely as possible, the Nigerian Country Office has been seeking to collaborate with media outlets including the Nigeria Television Authority, disabled peoples organisations and associations to ensure the message can be widely disseminated. The COVID-19 Response and Crisis Management team will continue to make recommendations that the Country Office can make to the government to ensure there is consideration of people living with disabilities in the government’s response.
CBM Australia continues to keep in touch and assist with the Country Offices overseas and monitor the safety of our staff and communities we work with during this difficult time.