Faith leaders are trusted community leaders with vital social, access and spiritual capital. As learned during the Ebola crisis, they can play an essential role in sharing accurate fact-based messages, combating myths, and engaging within their communities to address harmful or unhealthy practices. They can also influence and engage with families, offering vital insight into identifying the most vulnerable children, supporting referral mechanisms, and challenging underlying beliefs to address and end violence.
As faith plays a role in the lives and behaviours of 84% of the world’s population, faith leaders in particular can exercise considerable influence in many communities during the current COVID-19 crisis. This policy brief offers insight and recommendations to governments, humanitarian actors and faith leaders to ensure that faith leaders continue to be engaged in prevention and response work, and to also guarantee that they are offered support, resources and capacity building to do so more effectively.