Red Cross salutes Covid-19 volunteers

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ZIMBABWE Red Cross Society is especially proud to recognise the work of our volunteers and staff who are doing everything they can to support communities affected by the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic.

This comes as we recently joined the rest of the world in commemorating World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day under #KeepClapping for Zimbabwe Red Cross Society volunteers.

We always say that the Zimbabwe Red Cross Society is everywhere for everyone, every day.
In 2020, this is more important than ever. Our volunteers are hard at work helping vulnerable individuals and communities to protect themselves from Covid-19, and we’re still providing many other services that people need to keep themselves safe and healthy.

Each and every volunteer in Zimbabwe deserves applause, and we encourage everyone to #KeepClapping.
Zimbabwe Red Cross Society volunteers have been active in communities since the novel coronavirus was first detected: helping people to prepare, sharing life-saving health information to stop the spread of the disease, and working to limit its impact on the most vulnerable members of society.

These programmes have been carried out alongside the work ZRCS is well known for in Zimbabwe.
Every year, we reach thousands of people with a diverse range of services tailored to local needs, such as food security and livelihoods support, medical services, restoration of family links, water and sanitation, emergency response, disaster risk reduction, first aid and nurse aide trainings.

In addition to the other humanitarian activities linked to Covid-19, the ZRCS has also pledged to support the national response plan through expansion of its current clinical interventions at the Red Cross Clinic so as to go beyond screening, but also collect samples from suspected cases as well as establishing isolation centres firstly in Harare then potentially across the country.

The ZRCS has also provided its staff and volunteers as well as other frontline workers with Personal Protective Equipment as well as dissemination of information on Risk Communication and Health Promotion.

We may not be physically close during this time of social distancing, but we will always be here for you.
This is a difficult time for everyone, but I see so much hope in the bravery and dedication of not only Zimbabwe Red Cross Society volunteers, but also that of the millions of volunteers and staff members in 191 other countries around the world.

This global solidarity will help the world not only survive this pandemic, but also help it to thrive afterwards.
In May 2016, the IFRC announced a 110 million Swiss franc initiative to tackle the drought that is currently affecting tens of millions of people across southern Africa. The plan will see Red Cross relief activities increase significantly in seven of the hardest hit countries, alongside a dramatic expansion of long-term efforts designed to strengthen the resilience of 1 million vulnerable people.

The initiative falls under the One Billion Coalition for Resilence – an IFRC-led initiative that is bringing together aid organisations, governments, the private sector, academia and community groups to support 1 billion people over the next 10 years to take action to strengthen their safety, health and well-being.

In Zimbabwe, the IFRC has increased its Emergency Appeal to 5,1 million Swiss francs. The Appeal aims to support the Zimbabwe Red Cross Society in reaching 38 330 people affected by the drought through interventions focusing on livelihoods, cash transfers, and nutrition. The Appeal is currently 33 per cent funded.

Mlambo is ZRCS National President

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