World Vision Jerusalem – West Bank – Gaza (JWG) started distributing emergency protection supplies in response to the coronavirus outbreak in the West Bank. The supplies provide important support to quarantine centres in the governorates of Bethlehem, Hebron, Salfeet, Nablus and Ramallah, which are managed by the Ministry of Health (MoH). The quarantine centres are in areas where World Vision currently operates with long-term relief and development programs. The supplies include items such as masks, sanitizers, pillows, and mattresses.
To date, World Vision has also distributed a total of 175 hygiene kits and masks to 46 communities with a total population of around 170,000 people in several West Bank areas. Meanwhile 123 packages are being prepared to be distributed to 54 health clinics in 58 village councils in southern West Bank targeting 322,329 people. Different tools will also be provided for three quarantine centers in Bethlehem, Yata and Halhoul. World Vision is also supporting the set-up of new quarantine centers in Jenin, Nablus, Salfeet, Ramallah and Hebron with additional supplies and materials.
“World Vision has been responding to the global pandemic since the first case was declared in Bethlehem on March 5th. We work in close communication with the MoH. Our Zonal Managers have also been closely coordinating and communicating with the heads of emergency councils in each of the districts where we work in the West Bank. To date, we have prioritized providing support to the Bethlehem Governorate and are in the process of delivering up to15,000 USD in assistance for the National Quarantine Center in Bethlehem, based on a request from the Governor of Bethlehem Mr. Kamel Hmeid. World Vision will provide approximately 250,000 USD to support authorities in the effort to contain and delay the spread of coronavirus in the West Bank,” said Lauren Taylor, World Vision JWG National Director.
World Vision JWG is also working with MoH to print informational materials to raise the awareness across the West Bank about the coronavirus. The network of community health workers, established by World Vision, are also helping to share prevention messages. These awareness sessions / meetings included:
- Community based sessions at clinics and schools are being conducted in 20 communities targeting 1,890 mothers and children.
- Advanced trainings are being provided by the MoH to World Vision Community Health Workers from 13 communities.
- Virtual live awareness sessions are given to 156 mothers.
- Family based awareness sessions are being delivered by the trained Community Health Workers. Those sessions will be conducted in 20 communities targeting 1,379 members.
As of March 18, 2020, forty four COVID-19 cases were confirmed in the West Bank, most of which are in Bethlehem with two cases in Tulkarm. The Palestinian Prime Minister declared a state of emergency on March 5th. The sources of the infection trace back to tourists, who were on pilgrimage to these cities and who had contracted the virus from overseas. The Government of Israel has imposed a closure on Bethlehem due to the outbreak with restrictions on access in or out of the city. World Vision JWG, among other organization, has joined the immediate response measures to support the MoH and the government’s needs.
World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. World Vision has worked in Jerusalem, West Bank and Gaza since 1975. It currently implements long-term community development programmes among 150 communities and over 320 schools throughout the West Bank.