Over the last fortnight we have asked our Member Organisations across the world to complete a survey relating to how Covid-19 is impacting their ability to distribute aid and maintain contact with beneficiaries.
The results provide a good overview of the differing levels of restrictions in various countries but most importantly they demonstrate the ability of Member Organisations to continue serving those in desperate need despite the current challenges.
This exercise is vital in providing reassurance to our key funders that RCEL is able to maintain its support and, where aid distribution is currently paused, plans are in place to seek alternative methods of distribution.
Please note, of 50 Member Organisations (India has three representatives; Mumbai, Delhi and Chennai), RCEL distributes aid to 45.
As of 15 April, 82% of Member Organisations have completed and returned the survey. An overview of the key statistics:
· 78% are still able to deliver aid and the remaining 22% are developing alternative delivery methods
· 65% are in official lockdown but all remain functioning
· 92% are in touch with beneficiaries directly with the other 8% relying on family and friends
Only one country has confirmed cases amongst beneficiaries (number not specified). Two suspected but unconfirmed deaths among those beneficiaries.
Nine Member Organisations have no alternative method of distribution other than cash. All others who currently distribute via cash are looking at alternatives such as phone or electronic transfer.
Of those countries not in official lockdown, restrictions of some form are in place including a declared State of Emergency, travel restrictions and curfews.
Morale is high amongst Member Organisations despite the challenges. Many continue to provide updates as the situation develops and the Head Office team remain in constant contact with each. Those yet to complete the survey have been prompted and will continue to be until we receive feedback from each. This will enable us to provide a full overview of the impact and crucially, the ability of each Member Organisation to deliver aid.
It is likely as the situation develops, there will be additional requests for assistance; already we have been made aware of additional costs incurred as a result of increased contact with beneficiaries. We will monitor this situation closely.