INGOs, NGOs offer all-out support to govt in fight against coronavirus

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Staff Report

ISLAMABAD: The Pakistan Humanitarian Forum (PHF) and the National Humanitarian Network (NHN) have offered all-out cooperation and support to the government in the ongoing battle against coronavirus outbreak in the country.

“We fully appreciate the clear commitment and resolve shown by federal and provincial governments in ensuring quality and timely medical care being provided to those affected by coronavirus pandemic. We also reaffirm our resolve to extend all-out assistance to the government in its relief operations across country to protect communities and citizens in these hard times,” a joint statement issued by both the organizations read.

Both PHF and NHN as platforms of active and credible international and national NGOs and humanitarian workers from across Pakistan offered their support to the government authorities in areas of food security and nutrition programmes, livelihood uplift and economic empowerment. “We can provide sizeable outreach support to government, especially in reaching difficult/remote areas, accessing communities, identifying people in need and raising awareness on safe practices and preventive measures through nationwide campaigns,” the statement read. “The organizations who are part of both networks have already activated their health facilities to support the government in dealing with the pandemic and will make all-out efforts to arrange required medical kits and equipment without any cost,” it added.

Both the networks appreciated the timely decision of the Ministry of Interior allowing national and international NGOs to stepup their efforts in support of NDMA and PDMAs and all other local, provincial and national authorities fighting against COVID-19 outbreak. “The decision indicates confidence of the government in the role and contribution of INGOs in tackling such national catastrophes in the past and will also boost avenues of cooperation, jointaction and complementarity of efforts. However, streamlining formal coordination mechanisms can fetch positive outcomes efficiently and effectively in such difficult situations,” the statement read.

Both the organisationsappreciated the commitment and voluntary spirit of frontline healthcare workers, paramedics, law enforcement agencies and army personnel helping out citizens by risking their own lives. They also welcomed the announcement financial assistance Prime Minister Imran Khan to strengthen the response by institutions, organizations, volunteers and authorities in the wake of coronavirus outbreak.

Both the networks suggested that all medical equipment, kits and machinery brought in to fight COVID-19 should be dealt as ‘most urgent’ at ports of entry and procedures be made efficient to save on critical time. All duties, taxes for NGOs be waived off to ensure the delivery of required items at affordable costs, they said. “Clear humanitarian response plan needs to be defined inculcating and formalizing role and contribution of all stakeholders including PHF and NHN. Both entities can support NDMA in developing strategic framework for response with all essential requirements to ensure efficiency both in operations and information dissemination,” the statement concluded.