Myanmar: ICRC response to COVID-19
Since March 2020, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), in coordination with the Myanmar Red Cross Society (MRCS) and the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) has adapted its humanitarian activities throughout the country to the new COVID-19 environment while supporting the Government of Myanmar and the communities affected by armed conflict and violence in their efforts to prevent and mitigate the risks associated with the pandemic.
Since the first COVID-19 case was confirmed in Myanmar on 23 March 2020, the ICRC, together with its Red Cross partners, has mobilized to prevent and mitigate the spread of the virus in Kachin, Rakhine and Shan States, with a focus on communities living in areas affected by armed conflict and violence, as well as in places of detention throughout the country.
In parallel with its traditional humanitarian activities, the ICRC teams have swiftly developed a specific response to address the needs of the population particularly exposed to the risks of COVID-19, including internally displaced persons (IDPs), returning migrants, or people deprived of freedom.
The ICRC implements a multi-sectoral approach, which aims at strengthening primary public health services, increasing access to safe water and sanitation, and supporting the livelihoods of communities affected by the socio-economic impact of COVID-19.
The ICRC also engages in awareness-raising activities with community leaders, ethnic armed and ethnic health organizations, religious circles and local media, as part of its comprehensive response.
The ICRC, together with the MRCS and the IFRC, is committed to pursue in 2021 its ongoing response to COVID-19 to ensure that no one is left behind, and that communities affected by armed conflict and violence receive the assistance and protection to which they are entitled to in line with International Humanitarian Law.
The following operational overview reflects activities in response to COVID-19 conducted by the ICRC in Myanmar, in coordination with the Myanmar Red Cross Society (MRCS) and the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) from March to December 2020.
Improving access to water, sanitation, and hygiene
Infection-control in detention and quarantine facilities
Raising awareness of COVID-19
(Left) With the ICRC's support, 350 tailors produced 123,000 fabric face masks in just two weeks for displaced families in Rakhine State.
(Right) Throughout 2020, the ICRC - in cooperation with the Myanmar Red Cross Society - supported the Ministry of Health and Sports to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by facilitating the safe return of migrant workers in quarantine centres, providing basic amenities and essential hygiene items.