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Community Jameel, IRC collaborate to upscale healthcare response among refugees in Jordan

 

The Jordan Times

 

AMMAN — Community Jameel, a Saudi-based global philanthropy organisation, and the International Rescue Committee (IRC) have announced a new collaboration to tackle the ongoing refugee crisis in Jordan, which has been exacerbated by the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic.
 
With worldwide cases of coronavirus totalling more than 7 million and climbing, the exponential and rapid growth of COVID-19 cases poses a “huge risk” to vulnerable populations such as refugees and displaced peoples, the Jordan News Agency, Petra, reported.
 
As announced at a virtual roundtable organised to discuss the issue, hosted by President of Community Jameel Hassan Jameel and IRC President and CEO David Miliband, the two organisations will work together to slow the spread of the virus, minimise transmission and reduce the secondary impacts of the outbreak across the MENA region.
 
The IRC has designed a “robust approach” to detect, prevent and help contain the outbreak of coronavirus, leveraging its experience in responding to infectious disease outbreaks of global concern, including Ebola, and more than 85 years of expertise in supporting people affected by conflicts and disasters.
 
Community Jameel is a global philanthropy organisation dedicated to innovating for a better future and already has a track record of supporting Syrian refugees in Jordan, launching the Transforming Refugee Education towards Excellence (TREE) programme in 2019 in collaboration with the Jameel World Education Lab at MIT, Save the Children, the Jordan Ministry of Education, Dubai Cares and Hikma.
 
The IRC’s ongoing health programme is already “one of the largest NGO programmes of its kind” in Jordan, and with Community Jameel coming on board, both organisations will be able to scale their existing support in Jordan and across the MENA region.
 
In particular, the partnership will work to increase the distribution of personal protective equipment (PPE) and essential infection prevention and control supplies, cover costs of emergency medicines due to increased demands on clinics including to high-risk patients, provide assistance to the most vulnerable families to address health needs and support information outreach with partner organisations in Jordan through Turn (an informational app) and the Jordanian Ministry of Health’s coronavirus information hub, Petra reported.
 
Speaking during the session, Jameel emphasised the importance of collaboration and combining resources for the benefit of the region during the current challenging times: "COVID-19 is an exceptional crisis, and it is refugees and displaced persons who are being hit the hardest. We’re proud to build on our existing efforts supporting refugees in Jordan through this partnership, which will strengthen the frontline medical response to the virus in Jordan."
 
Miliband said: "COVID -19 adds a new dimension to the refugee crisis by creating a double emergency: an emergency of health care, because many of the refugees have underlying vulnerabilities, as well as a social and an economic emergency caused by the collateral damage of the virus and its lockdowns. We would like to thank Community Jameel for helping the IRC boost our healthcare response in Jordan to help reach those most vulnerable."
 
Sarra Ghazi, country director for IRC Jordan, said: "Since the first case of COVID-19 was officially confirmed in Jordan in early March, the IRC has been working closely with the government to protect refugees and vulnerable Jordanians from the virus. We will continue to do this for as long as is necessary to fight the pandemic, and working with Community Jameel will be vital in these efforts".
 
The partnership with IRC is the latest component of Community Jameel’s extensive COVID-19 response, which includes the work of the Jameel Institute at Imperial College London to model the spread of the virus, and the AI Cures initiative at the Jameel Clinic at MIT, which is applying machine learning to discover promising antiretrovirals to treat the disease.
 
 

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