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From legal consultations to food packages, NGO coalition responds to needs of Kingdom’s most vulnerable

By JT - Apr 07,2020 - Last updated at Apr 07,2020

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 crisis, the Jordan NGOs Forum, which comprises more than 40 local and national civil society organisations representing all of Jordan, has started to implement an immediate three-month response plan to meet the needs of vulnerable communities in the Kingdom (Photo courtesy of ARDD)

AMMAN — As part of its endeavours to lead the efforts exerted in humanitarian response and development in Jordan, the Jordanian NGOs Forum (JONAF) is currently working to implement a response plan to support the government in effectively dealing with the COVID-19 crisis and its repercussions.

According to a statement from the Arab Renaissance for Democracy and Development (ARDD), this response plan, which aims to meet the needs of vulnerable groups of refugees, asylum seekers in Jordan and Jordanian host communities most affected by the crisis, entails monitoring developments and initiating community-based interventions by local civil society organisations.

Since the beginning of the crisis, the JONAF coalition, which comprises more than 40 local and national civil society organisations representing all of Jordan, has started to implement an immediate three-month response plan covering various areas, according to the statement.

These areas include direct humanitarian response, health and food aid, provision of medical, social, legal, labour and protection services, childcare, competent social and mental health services, community organisation and public awareness services through social media sites. The plan also covers building the capacities of coalition members to prepare them to deal with crises in addition to initiating monitoring, research and analysis reports to advocate for all efforts.

Direct humanitarian response, health and food aid

JONAF members have distributed food and health parcels; the Jordan Hashemite Charity Organisation has reached more than 15,000 families across Jordan through close cooperation with member societies in all regions.

Since the outbreak of the crisis, the Jordan Paramedic Society has started providing support to the 111 hotline team by answering citizens’ inquiries to the Ministry of Health and the Crisis Management Directorate to provide COVID-19 consultations and advice and refer suspected cases to relevant authorities, according to the statement.

Thus far, the staff has responded to more than 8,000 calls, assisted Civil Defence Department cadres in the field and made nearly 900 visits.

The Arab Relief Society also launched a campaign and distributed health parcels. The Aoun Medical Association has been providing medical assistance to nearly 30,000 women and 20,000 children in the Zaatari refugee camp.

Many associations, such as Al Rafid and Al Karam, Al Ghor Modern Association and other members throughout the Kingdom, have launched campaigns for self-sufficiency and baking bread at home among other awareness campaigns.

ARDD has directed all of its programmes and efforts to provide a system for tracking cases affected most by the crisis and providing direct support to them through partner JONAF members.

Health support and medical advice

The Institute for Family Health and the Noor Al Hussein Foundation have allocated support and assistance phone lines to cover psychological issues, psychological counselling, family violence and gender-based violence (GBV), rehabilitation and response to the needs of persons with disabilities, COVID-19 advice, reproductive health and children’s health, in addition to the services by the emergency teams present in the camps, the statement read.

Awareness posts were also published on JONAF's and other social media outlets. In coordination with JONAF members and in partnership with international organisations, the institute worked on GBV cases with the Family Protection Department, and activated video and audio services for rehabilitation, violence and medical cases.

Social and labour legal protection

JONAF steering committee member Tamkeen Centre for Legal Aid and Human Rights provided legal assistance to 64 Jordanian, Syrian and Egyptian workers in addition to presenting food and in-kind assistance to 160 domestic workers, targetting 536 beneficiaries of all nationalities in 52 legal awareness sessions and assisting 33 daily workers in registering on the social insurance platform. Tamkeen also issued five specialised reports on labour laws, the statement noted.

JONAF coordinator, ARDD, has allocated eight phone lines for protection and legal advice services covering the Kingdom and provided consultations and mediation services to more than 3,000 beneficiaries including Jordanians, refugees and foreign residents.

These consultations included inquiries about the curfew decision, movement permits, family problems, divorce and labour rights considering recent government instructions and the curfew. The organisation has also provided legal mediation services to more than 98 individuals.

Raising awareness, media and community organisation

JONAF members worked on spreading awareness on COVID-19 and how to prevent it and how to deal with and adapt to the current conditions through several initiatives. Tamkeen and ARDD published important legal information in addition to adaptation advice pamphlets calling community and family solidarity.

ARDD also published a women leaders post series and a first responder post series, which stressed the importance of community organisations in responding to crises and the role of women in social security and peace.

JONAF steering committee member Durrat Al Manal launched a questionnaire to find out the impact of distance education, while the Tamkeen Centre launched a report on labour affairs.

According to the statement, ARDD is currently working to launch several research reports looking at the impact of the crisis and its various dimensions on vulnerable groups.

The East and West Centre also participated in several awareness visuals and messages that contribute to explaining community members roles and their importance in responding to crises.

Furthermore, the Child Welfare Association, in partnership with ARDD, launched an initiative in cooperation with the security forces under the slogan “Safety distance”, aiming to encourage people to observe safe distances in stores and commercial facilities in the Northern Badiya in Mafraq Governorate.

The Women for Women Association launched the "We are one" campaign, urging the cooperation of men and women in all tasks in addition to various other initiatives by JONAF members in their local communities.

JONAF's coordinator ARDD is working on monitoring the conditions of the most affected groups of refugees, day labourers, women, people with disabilities and the elderly in host societies, and produced a video that reflects the conditions of the population in the Northern Badiya in cooperation with the Child Welfare Association, according to the statement.

Under the slogan “Together we will defeat coronavirus”, ARDD shared legal awareness and health messages from its reliable sources. ARDD also partnered with the Community Media Network to launch a dedicated programme that seeks to shed light on the crisis and its consequences on the affected communities in addition to launching support and awareness campaigns with Jordanian influencers to broadcast positive, awareness and solidarity messages.

These campaigns include the “It shall pass” campaign, “We are all Irbid” and other ongoing campaigns.

"We in Jordan, as we face this pandemic, can only resort to a strategic response that requires coming together as a community, and effective cooperation between the government and civil society organisations,” read the statement.

“As such, response plans and roadmaps have been discussed with the government and we are currently working to join efforts, intensify coordination, follow up on civil society activities and issue periodic coverage that showcases the importance of a united front covering all components of society and showing solidarity to reduce the effects of this crisis and its future repercussions,” the statement concluded.




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