1. Introduction of the organization:
Dhaka Ahsania Mission (DAM) founded in 1958 with the motto “Divine and Humanitarian Service” and core values of humanity, spirituality, humility, equality and equity, caring for nature, honesty and morality. Considering the post-2015 era of global development, DAM has developed its organizational 10 years Strategy Plan 2015-2025 aiming to improve the living condition of the vulnerable people and resilience building. DAM has intensive experience of disaster management since 1988 and undertaken short, medium and long-term response & rehabilitation activities in different disasters. DAM commitment to transcend the humanitarian principles and space in all spam of project implementation and reinforcing the importance of respecting human dignity and community engagement. DAM has started the preparatory initiatives from 1st week of March 2020 and COVIOD-19 response programme from 4th Week of March 2020.
The coronavirus pandemic was confirmed to have spread to Bangladesh on 8th March 2020. The Government of Bangladesh initially put in place a ten-day lock-down to 4 April 2020, subsequently extending its duration a number of times, most recently up to 30th June’ 2020. At that time the situation was become worst and very few people maintained the approach of ‘hand washing’, ‘social distancing’, and ‘self-quarantine’. The number of coronavirus cases was increasing in Bangladesh and govt urges people to follow quarantine guidelines. It was necessary to start the social distancing campaign progmame and also make aware the people on health preventive measures. The low-income people had been going through a tough ride amid decline in income and high prices of essential items, a substantial people had no livelihood option, especially who lives on hand to mouth and suffering with the lockdown, those people were skipping daily meal.
2. Key Focus in Project Designing:
Considering the worst situation and suffering of the people, DAM has designed different types of projects for ensuring the food security and aware people on Covid-19 with preventive measures. DAM used to calculate per beneficiaries’ cost in comparison with the available budget and focus the issues for improving food security and livelihoods options considering the local context and needs of the beneficiaries. The health, food and Hygiene support is more relevant in this pandemic situation. In terms of Prevention exploitation and abuse in this lockdown situation, DAM has given priority to select women headed families whereas child and older people are living with. These types of programme intervention helps the vulnerable people to stay home at least one or months. So, they could avoid external harassment at that time. And, they feel a kind of security and power in his own family which help to reduce domestic violence also.
3. Programmatic interventions in response to COVID-19:
A. Awareness Building Campaign:
DAM has started awareness building programme for ‘hand washing’, ‘social distancing’, and ‘selfquarantine.
As on 15th April 2020, DAM reached to 316,844 individual beneficiaries with clear guidelines on what to do and undertake awareness campaigns using mobile phone, electronic, print and social media. Health sector of DAM distributed 155,000 leaflets containing precautionary messages. DAM Health Sector has been continuously organizing orientation and demonstration and update meetings for the service providers and Facebook live on COVID-19: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=28RABcW5Vm0&t=1133s;https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U-PpbHMDmMs&t=2s . Festoons and other materials are being placed in different sites of the Rohingya camps In Cox’s Bazar for raising awareness and keeping them safe. DAM stopped all visits and courtyard sessions to adhere to the social distancing protocol.
B. Ensured Staff Safety:
DAM ensured the safeties of all full time 4,588 staff and frontline 919 staff. DAM supplied hand sanitizers in 195 field offices, 32 institutions including head office. All offices now remain closed according to government declared general holidays to prevent the transmission of coronavirus. Staffs are working from home. The leaflet, audio message, live face book, information sheet, staff safety guideline and necessary items of cleanliness have been distributed. DAM Health Sector has provided hand sanitizers, PPE to the health service providers since the beginning of the COVID- 19 outbreak. The kit contained three reusable full set PPE, and disposable PPE (gloves, masks, caps, gowns and shoe covers).
DAM has provided online training/orientation to 1,453 staff on COVID-19 and Health sector of DAM has provided 9 batches (352 person) specialized online training to the front-line managers in Covid 19 response, health professionals including doctors with a special module.
C. Developed IEC materials, Operational Guidelines, training/ orientation Module:
Health sector of DAM developed leaflet, festoon, a guideline for PPE measures, guideline for Drug Treatment Center, Khudba on Corona Virus, Guideline for Community Health Worker, Guidelines for Ukhiya and Teknaf Camp Drivers and staff management guideline which reflects the WHO, CDC, IEDCR and DGHS recommendations.
D. Health Support through 40 Health Centre:
Health sector of DAM is providing day to day health support through 40 static health centers in different parts of the country. The process is going on to obtain an ambulance for health centers, if emergency transport is required for any infected patient of COVID-19. So, it’s required to take more drastic and strong initiatives in order to ensure health safety of the clinical staffs. DAM stored emergency medications and still in consultation with pharmaceutical companies to ensure the supply chain of medicines in case the situation worsens.
E. Provide Food and WASH/ Hygiene package support:
E.1. DAM has completed 1st round food and Hygiene package support to 1201 beggars from its own fund. The package contains Rice – 20 KG, Lintel – 1 Kg, Soyabin-1 liter, Salt-1 Kg, Sugar-1 KG, Potato -3 KG, Onion-1 KG. The total value of the support was BDT 20, 00,000/=
E.2 DAM has completed 2nd round food support to the 600 vulnerable HH in Dhaka North and South City Corporation with the support of Rahim Group. The food package for each family was: Rice – 20 KG, Flatten Rice – 500 gm, Lintel – 1 Kg, Soyabin-1 liter, Salt-1 Kg, Sugar-1 KG, Potato -5 KG, Onion-1 KG, Garlic-0.5 KG, Spice-0.25 KG. The total value of the support was BDT 20,00,000/=
E.3 Dhaka Ahsania Mission has formed the consortium with CDD, SOF and SRWOT- Bangladesh and are going to provide the Food and Hygiene support to 600 HH with the financial support of Oxfam under Humanitarian Response Grant Facility (HRGF). The support will be provided to the day laborers, rickshaw pullers, small shop owners, hawkers, beggars and other low-income people of ward no 2 & 4 of Savar municipality and ward no. 3, 11 & 20 of Dhaka North City Corporation.
The food package has been selected based on the food security cluster recommendation and each family (HH) will receive Rice – 60 KG, Flour -13 KG, Lintel – 2 Kg, Soyabin- 3 Liter’s, Salt – 1 Kg, Sugar – 1 KG.
The Minimum WASH/ Hygiene package will be distributed to 600 HH and package selected by Hygiene Technical Working group. The items of the WASH package are: Bathing Soap (125 gm)- 10 Pcs, Detergent Soap – I KG, non-disposable Sanitary napkin – 8 Pcs, Bucket with lid and tape (20L) – 1 Pcs, Disposable Surgical mask- 50 Pcs, Plastic Mug-1 Pcs, two pager IEC (color printed).
The total value of the support: BDT 4,357,500.00/=
E.4 DAM is implementing the Covid 19 Response project jointly with Care Bangladesh from 1st May 2020. The project is funded by Coca Cola foundation with the duration of May – June 2020. The support will be given to 6,132 HH in Gazipur Upazilla of Gazipur District, Vhaluka Upazilla of Mymensingh District and Cumilla Sadar south Upazilla of Kumilla District. The target population of the projects are marginal households, especially women-headed HH, people with disability, elderly people from the groups of Rickshaw Puller, Daily labor, Garments worker, Tea stall worker, Grocery worker, Domestic help worker peddlers, local grocery shop kipper/worker, rickshaw mechanics, street food/vegetable sellers, beauty salon/parlor worker, tailoring, small garments, transport worker, sex worker, transgender groups who are trapped in highly congested slums without work and food and lack of necessary hygiene and dignity items.
At the same time, local health facilities lack protective essential gears such as PPE, Oxygen cylinders, biohazard garbage bag, thermal scanner, ventilator, sanitizers, masks, gloves, hand washing stands. With challenging health facilities and absence of proper awareness mechanisms has potential to quickly impact the entire country.
The packages are:
E.4.1 Immediate Food Security Support:
Food Package Rice – 40 Kg, Lentils- 2 Kg, Iodized salt -1 Kg, Cooking oil- 3-liter, Sugar- 1 kg, Semolina – 2 kg, Onion -3 Kg, Spices- 2 pack. The total cost of per package BDT- 2,845/=
E.4.2 Immediate Dignity Kit Support:
Sanitary Napkin / Non disposable Sanitary cloth for Menstrual Hygiene Management- highly absorbent, soft cotton fabric- 1 pack (8-10 Pcs), Mask (reusable)- 4 Pcs, Bathing and hand washing (Bar 125 gm per pcs) soap- 3, Detergent powder/ laundry soap( Per pcs 200 gm)-2,
Total Cost-of the package BDT- 380/=
Total Food and Dignity package cost is BDT 3,225/=
E.4.3 Supporting Government Health Systems including private hospitals:
Support health systems mechanisms through functioning of COVID-19 Isolation centers in Gazipur and Comilla districts by providing input support and coordination such as special quality of full sleeve with head cover reusable gown for doctors & nurses who are directly providing services to COVID patients, normal quality 210 GSM full sleeve with head cover reusable gown for front line government health workers who are doing screening of COVID-19 patients and safety materials such as: hand sanitizers and masks, gloves, medical waste management etc. Number of health service providers like Doctors, Nurses and Frontline Health Service Providers will receive 800 set PPE. The support was given in 14 Government and Private Hospitals.
E.5: DAM has implemented the “Ramadan Food Parcels 2020 & Covid 19 Response” with the support of Human Appeal. The duration of the project is 17th May-15th June 2020. The food package and dignity kit support has provided to 1,950 HH in Savar Upazilla and Municipality of Dhaka District: 600 HH, Srenagar Upazilla of Munshigong District: 550 HH, Fatullah Upazilla of Narayangong District: 300 HH, Monohardi Upazilla of Narshindhi District: 500 HH. This support is provided for one month to help them cope with the income loss and food insecurity caused by COVID. The food parcel is containing the following items per household: Rice -25 KG, Lentil- 1 KG, Soyabin / cooking oil -1 Litre, Iodised Salt-1 KG, Onion -1 KG and Potato- 2 KG. The Sanitation & Hygiene kit is packaging with the following items: Bathing and hand washing Soap (125 gm)- 2 pcs; Detergent Soap (200 gm)- 1 Packet; Reusable face mask – 4 pcs and Sanitary Napkin /Non disposable Sanitary cloth for Menstrual Hygiene Management- highly absorbent, soft cotton fabric, Mask (reusable) – 1 packet.
E. 6: DAM has provided Food and Hygiene support to 114 low income staff of different institution /division/ sectors/units. The food package is containing the following items per household: Rice – 20 KG, Lentil- 1 KG, Soyabin / Cooking oil -1 Litre, Iodised Salt-1 KG, Onion -1 KG and Potato- 5 KG and Bathing and hand washing Soap (125 gm)- 2 pcs.
E. 7: DAM is implementing the project “Strengthen capacities of communities to anticipate, cope and recover from the negative impacts of Covid-19 worsened by Cyclone Amphan” to provide humanitarian support with the sectoral intervention: Health, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) and Food Distribution for reducing the negative impact of Covid-19 to the vulnerable people whose life become more vulnerable due to Cyclone Amphan . The project is implementing in Sathkhira Municipality with the financial support of CAFOD, UK. The duration of the project is 11th July-08th August 2020. The food package, Hygiene and dignity kit support has provided to 900 HH.
Immediate food security support: Provide immediate ‘food package’ worth BDT 2,155 to poorer households for one month to ensure that they have minimum food items (rice, lentil, oil etc.) following the standard guidelines.
Immediate Hygiene and dignity kit support: Provide immediate Hygiene and ‘dignity package’ worth BDT 402 to poorer households for one month to ensure that they have minimum items (sanitary napkin, soap, masks etc.) to maintain hygiene, especially the women and adolescent girls, following the standard guidelines.
E. 8: DAM is implementing the project “Emergency Flood Response to the vulnerable people and support to recover from the negative impacts of flood in Ghosherpara Union of Melandaha Upazila under Jamalpur District’ with the financial support of HelpAge International. The duration of the project is 20th July-2nd September 2020. The project will provide Multipurpose Cash Grant (MPG) for the selected 390 HHs. Each HH will receive BDT 3,000 in cash as direct delivery. DAM followed the guidelines of Cash Working Group (CWG) for selecting the cash package.
WASH kits distribution: Each of the HH will receive bathing soap (125 gm)-10 pcs., Detergent Powder (200 gm) for laundry-5 pack, Non disposable Sanitary cloth for Menstrual Hygiene Management (m square each) highly absorbent, soft dark cotton fabric (not deep dark like black)- 8 pcs., Bucket with lid and tape (20L) for hand washing-1pc, Disposable Surgical mask (10 pcs per person)-50 pcs/Reusable face mask, plastic mug (1.5l) 1pc.
E. 9: Dhaka Ahsania Mission (DAM) is implementing the project “Immediate Assistance for Monsoon Flood & Covid-19 Affected People in the Northern District of Jamalpur, Bangladesh”. The project will be implemented in Dewangonj and Melandah Upazila’s of Jamalpur District, targeting 2,470 highly vulnerable flood-affected households. The project is funded by Irish Aid.
The beneficiaries will get support with Unconditional multi-purpose cash support amounting BDT 3,000 in a single disbursement. The project will provide immediate Hygiene and ‘dignity package’ worth BDT 600 to poorer 2,470 households for one month to ensure that they have minimum items (sanitary napkin, soap, masks etc.) to maintain hygiene, especially the women and adolescent girls, following the standard guidelines. The duration of the project is 10th August-2nd November 2020. The total budget of the project is 1, 08, 49,200 (One crore eight lac forty nine thousand and two hundred only).
E. 10: DAM is implementing the project “COVID-19 Oxfam Response to the pandemic” with the financial support of Oxfam, Bangladesh. The duration of the project September 01, 2020- November 30, 2020. In total 526 beneficiaries will get support with Unconditional multi-purpose cash support amounting BDT 5,000 in a single disbursement. The project will provide immediate Hygiene and ‘dignity package’ two times worth BDT 3,700 to poorer 526 domestic workers, elderly people, PWD’s and transgender households for three months to ensure that they have minimum items (sanitary napkin, Hand sanitizer, soap, mug, Bucket with tape, masks etc.) to maintain hygiene, especially the women and adolescent girls, following the standard guidelines.
E. 11: DAM has provided financial support through bkash cash transfer to the Cyclone Amphan affected 126 survivors in Jashore and Khulna district under Ashshash Project. In total BDT 1,422,252 has distributed with the financial support of Winrock International.
E. 12: Dhaka Ahsania Mission (DAM) is implementing the project “Immediate recovery assistance to respond to the first needs of flood affected people in Jamalpur and Sirajgonj districts from Northern Bangladesh”. The project is implementing in Islampur, Dewangonj and Melandah Upazila’s of Jamalpur District targeting 2,050 HH. The duration of the project is October 01, 2020 – January 31’2021 and funded by ECHO.
The beneficiaries will get support with Unconditional multi-purpose cash support amounting BDT 3,000 in a single disbursement. The project will provide immediate Hygiene and ‘dignity package’ worth BDT 2,180 to poorer 2,050 households for three months to ensure that they have minimum items (sanitary napkin, soap, bucket with tape, mug, hand sanitizer, masks etc.) to maintain hygiene, especially the women and adolescent girls, following the standard guidelines. In total 17 community level tube well and 7 deep tube well will be installed. The house repairing cost will be disbursed to 250 HH with BDT 5,000 each and other 250 HH will receive BDT 3,000 each for latrine installation. The total budget of the project is 1,56, 07,700 (One crore fifty-six lac seven thousand and seven hundred only).
E. 13: Dhaka Ahsania Mission (DAM) is implementing the project “Early Recovery Assistance to Monsoon Flood Affected Population in Northern areas of Bangladesh.” The project is implementing in Bakshigong , Dewangonj and Melandah Upazila’s of Jamalpur District targeting 2,050 HH. The duration of the project is October 01, 2020 – February 15’2021 and funded by DFID & UNOPS. Cash for work to repair breached embankments and essential community infrastructures will be provided to 1,400 HH and Livelihood recovery assistance support will be provided to 200 HH with BDT 5,000 each, Shelter plinth raise support will be given to 400 HH through Cash for Work, Materials will be distributed for Shelter Repairing to 50 HH with BDT 2,500 each. BDT 4,000 will be distributed to 60 HH for Repair and maintenance of tube well, 60 new latrine will be installed with BDT 7,000 each and 10 hand washing points will be set up with BDT 8,000 each. The total budget of the project is 1, 52, 09,180 (One crore fifty-two lac nine thousand one hundred and eighty only).
4. Safe guarding and Safe programming:
A culture of ethics and integrity has created during the project implementation among the staff and concern stakeholders, which creates the enabling environment and the safety fast approach of project staff, beneficiaries and which is followed accordingly. DAM ensure the participatory distribution mechanism of the gift items with necessary safety mechanisms in place with support from community volunteers, local leaders, local government authority and Upazilla administration. Project staff/ volunteers are briefed on the safety standards, code of conduct pre-deployment. DAM also follow the SPHERE standards and aligns to the nine commitments of the Core Humanitarian Standard (CHS) to ensure quality and accountability in humanitarian response project. DAM is promoting localization process for effective humanitarian response programme with the active participation of all local level responders.
It has risk to maintain social distances at the community level during beneficiary’s consultation and selection, verifying prices of the relief items. Even, there is high risk to distribute the items to the beneficiaries in massive social transmission time. DAM has planned to doorstep distribution keeping enough distance in maximum case, using of safety measures by the staff. The circle approach for standing of the beneficiaries is outlined for ensuring the social distance. In addition to providing emergency assistance to the beneficiaries, DAM ensure the safety and security of all staff and volunteers by providing safety equipment (PPE) and oriented health rules of COVID-19.
There is one of the most important benchmarks in terms of quality of humanitarian responses by using the ICT in the pandemic situation. The staff join in the virtual meeting frequently and discussed different issues and resolve it with coordinated manner. The meetings have been conducted on Skype/ Zoom and it is more effective and new communication mechanism.
5. Complain Response Mechanism (CRM):
DAM strongly maintain zero tolerance principle against any offence, accountability standards, communicating with disaster affected people, and complaint response mechanisms. The orientation is given to the staff to work in a harassment-free environment, tolerance, and respect to the community. As such, DAM prioritized to seek to protect the right of all personnel and also community people to be treated with respect and dignity.
DAM strictly follow the safe guarding issues in the whole implementation of the project. DAM informed the low enforcement agencies and ensured the presence during distribution. DAM prioritize the issues of safety and security of the staff and beneficiaries in all spam of the project implementation.
The major challenges are to identify the most vulnerable communities maintaining social distance and then sharing this information with stakeholders in advance of a possible disease outbreak, deal with stress management and psychosocial issues, particularly the staff safety and security. However, DAM is aiming to reach those in need ethically, and to ensure the safety and security of humanitarian workers.
7. Future outlook and recommendations:
According to “Multi Sectoral Anticipatory Impact Analysis and Needs Assessment” Report and considering the current context, DAM has focused to provide support through Health services, Economic package, WASH support and Social Communication/Education package. It has planned to reach other 20,000 HH by March 2021 through mobilizing resources from different source.