At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country, the Sri Lankan government took immediate action and placed the country under strict curfew to curtail the spread of the pandemic. With the number of infected people rising in the country, the ADRA Sri Lanka team moved to activate the emergency plan in place within the organization to support the rising needs. The team worked very closely with the duty bearers such as the Divisional Secretariats, Medical Officers of Health, Office of the Regional Director of Health Services and the Urban Councils in the Nuwara Eliya, Vavuniya and Matale districts to narrow down the needs in order to ensure that the identified needs could be responded to, through the set aside funding.
With the approvals being granted, the team in close partnership with the Sri Lanka Mission of Seventh-day Adventists initiated the activities which ranged from the provision of safety equipment to the health service providers to the provision of 497 food packs to vulnerable families living under self-quarantine and families that were dependent on daily wages.
Futhermore, the project supported efforts of disinfection of public locations in the Vavuniya and Nuwara Eliya districts, facilitated trainings sessions to 400 public transport providers (bus and three-wheelers) while also providing material support (spray bottles, gloves, disinfection liquid) for continual disinfection.
This emergency response provided 1,328 families hygiene packs containing disinfection liquid and hand washing and detergent bars of soap which were distributed by health duty bearers during household visits where information sharing was carried out in terms of safety measures to be carried out. The team also shared IEC material alongside all the packs that were distributed and also established IEC boards and put up IEC banners to increase awareness on correct hand washing techniques and on safety/ precautionary measures to be carried out to reduce the spread of the disease. Altogether, the project supported more than 10,000 individuals through its efforts.
This emergency response project titled ‘EM 20-018’ was funded by ADRA International, ADRA Asia Regional Office, Latter Day Saint Charities (LDS Charities) and the Sri Lanka Mission of the Seventh-day Adventist Church.