Wadi ramps up activities as Covid Cases Surge – Risk to Refugees

Covid cases are surging in the Kurdistan Region in Iraq and in Greece, this is especially alarming for refugees living in cramped tight spaces. Wadi is very concerned about the soaring numbers and currently ramping up its efforts with awareness-raising on prevention and encouraging vaccinations through our Citizen-to-citizen Corona campaign

In the Kurdistan region, Wadi continues to raise awareness and encourage people to vaccinate through our ‘Citizens to Citizens Corona Campaign’ which promotes unity and individual responsibility, where community members encourage each other to wear masks in public and practice social distancing. The campaign has worked non-stop in cities, villages and refugee camps to combat misinformation and ‘fake news’ being shared about Coronavirus and the vaccines, as well as cultural resistance to practicing basic prevention measures such as social distancing and mask wearing.

Since August 2020, this campaign (so far funded fully from private donations) is operating in Erbil, Ranya, Halabja, Garmyan, and Duhok. Thousands of masks, posters, and awareness materials have been provided for schools, hospitals, governmental departments, mosques, shops. We have been working hard to raise awareness on Covid prevention and on taking responsibility as citizens. In the camps too, we set up several awareness raising groups to go tent by tent to provide information on how to protect themselves. It is very disappointing to see that even international interventions, consulates, and UN agencies who can do so much with their capabilities have shown no support for this campaign and local attempts to control the situation and to spread awareness in the community with regards to protection and prevention have received no institutional support despite our reaching out repeatedly. Now more than ever our community needs support!

We are all to learn from this situation. We all need to take responsibility for our actions. Actors, donors, officials all need to work seriously with the public for providing the best methods of awareness needed and ensure the measures of protection to be implemented. We hope other local and international organizations will put out their efforts for this urgent matter as well so that we can all assist our community to survive this new wave.

Wadi is very concerned about the rapidly rising Covid 19 cases, especially in refugee camps

In the Kurdistan Region Wadi awareness teams visited the camps tent by tent. They have been facing some challenges in convincing camp community that Covid-19 still exists. A Yazidi women in Khanki camp told our team member “Covid-19 does not exist anymore, my husband got infected and I looked after him but without wearing a mask and I didn’t get infected. So I will never get infected”

Wadi Team Member putting up Corona Virus Awareness materials in Khanke Refugee Camp

This new wave of Covid-19 is spreading fast in Kurdistan which is a huge risk for the camp community specifically. Few are getting vaccines, the reason is the lack of access to the vaccination centers and also the lack of trust that the vaccine actually works . There is an urgent need to continue spreading awareness and support vaccination efforts.

In Greece, Covid 19 cases are also rising rapidly once again, Wadi continues to work with our local partner Stand by me Lesvos and self-organised refugee groups Moria White Helmets and Moria Corona Awareness Teams in the camps. Greek authorities have thankfully opened vaccination centres to refugees, however vaccine hesitancy remains high. To change this our local partners have been coordinating with Camp Management by distributing flyers to inform all refugees about the need for vaccination and to debunk current fake news about the vaccines.

Our local partners will also bring the residents to the vaccination centre and take care that that process is going well. Wadi cannot stress enough how many anti-vaccine rumours are currently going around and what a negative effect this is having on people who are so vulnerable to this latest Covid surge. To fight this members of Moria White Helmets and Moria Corona Awareness Teams have been using social media to document their vaccinations and set a positive example.

Wadi continues to support the urgent need for vaccination in refugee camps both in Iraq and in Greece, and in order to do so we ask for your support so that we can continue to facilitate the logistics that are necessary to do that such as:

  • Combating fake news
  • Providing transportation to and from vaccination centres for vulnerable people
  • Promoting positive steps to prevent the spread of Covid

Please consider donating today