In lower-income countries, the repercussions of COVID-19 will place additional strain on health services, leaving many people more vulnerable. CBM Australia has sought to assist and strengthen health systems and community infrastructure to ensure people with disabilities in India can meet their continuing and additional needs in a time of uncertainty caused by COVID-19.
By mobilising existing networks and Disabled People’s Organisations (DPOs) in some of India’s poorest communities, CBM Australia and its partners are working hard to ensure that people with disabilities and other vulnerable groups have the information, equipment and supplies they need to cope with risks and restrictions resulting from COVID-19. CBM Australia and partners are assisting with a number of projects in India to strengthen the ability of these communities to respond and protect their members from the COVID-19 crisis, and preventative measures have been high on the agenda.
Redirecting funds towards activities that prioritise community health has provided an alternative path towards building resilient and empowered communities. Our partners are actively providing safe and accessible water sources (including hand pumps), food kits, hygiene kits, personal protective equipment, and mental health support to people with disabilities and their communities. Additionally, information sharing and awareness raising activities are preventing the spread of the virus through at risk populations by empowering people to practice protective behaviours.
Our partners are already actively engaged in building resilient and inclusive communities and have been able to rapidly and effectively respond to evolving needs under difficult conditions. Working through strong existing networks, including local government authorities and DPOs, CBM Australia is able to ensure that during these unprecedented times, no one is left behind.
CBM Australia acknowledges the support of the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP) in continuing to support our work during the COVID-19 crisis.