We are Elrha, a force for change in the humanitarian community. The research and innovation we support equips the humanitarian community with the knowledge of what works, so people affected by crises get the right help when they need it most.
Our purpose is clear: to empower the humanitarian community to improve humanitarian response. We make this happen by supporting and championing the outcomes of robust research and proven innovations.
We empower the humanitarian community. Find out how we can support you...
To improve the safety of refugees during the COVID-19 pandemic, humanitarian NGOs have instituted safety protocols to minimize the risk of infection spread during services to refugees. For those humanitarian NGOs, it is imperative to understand when protocols are not followed, what the possible barriers to adherence are, and how those barriers can be overcome. This study aimed to address these questions and provide guidance and recommendations for humanitarian stakeholders.
Through a collaboration between university researchers and humanitarian assistance providers, we collected data on refugees’ and staff’s adherence to safety protocols (social distancing, mask wearing, and hand hygiene measured as hand washing and using hand sanitizer) through interviews with NGO staff and non-participant observations during service provision. The NGOs operated in three countries (Lebanon, Jordan, and Turkey) and provided a variety of services to different refugee populations.
This research identified several key findings:
All NGOs instituted safety protocols designed to reduce the risk of infection of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, but adherence to those protocols varied by type of service, refugee population served, and type of safety protocol.
Adherence to protocols was better in contexts that staff and refugees likely felt were riskier, and worse in context that staff and refugees felt safer.
Resource availability was a barrier to protocol adherence in some situations, but having resources available did not always equate to those resources being used.
The explosion in Beirut, while destroying significant infrastructure and causing additional strain on assistance not to mention loss of life, had only a marginal effect on COVID-19 safety protocol adherence.
Skepticism about the existence or seriousness of COVID-19 is apparent among refugee beneficiaries and even a small number of staff; this might be a barrier not just to better protocol adherence but may inhibit refugees’ willingness to be vaccinated.
You are seeing this because you are using a browser that is not supported. The Elrha website is built using modern technology and standards. We recommend upgrading your browser with one of the following to properly view our website:
Please note that this is not an exhaustive list of browsers. We also do not intend to recommend a particular manufacturer's browser over another's; only to suggest upgrading to a browser version that is compliant with current standards to give you the best and most secure browsing experience.