CSOs’ response to COVID-19

May 14, 2020

During the COVID-19 crisis, CSOs were among the first to recognize the urgency and show great solidarity in providing support to marginalized groups and vulnerable communities. Many activists took steps to show solidarity in their communities, and found ways to be helpful to their target groups. The organisations have adapted to the new situation and redirected their regular activities, and some even their project activities, to meet the needs of the people in dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Red Cross with its municipal organisations, but also organisations such as the Food Bank-MK, True Works of Kindness, Avaja, numerous Roma organisations and many others have carried out countless activities to provide and distribute humanitarian aid to the most vulnerable categories. This humanitarian aid is often provided by the business community, which has shown great solidarity and cooperation with CSOs in a state of crisis for businesses as well.

Although the mobile teams of the Red Cross lead the process, many local and national organisations selflessly provided services of logistical support for vulnerable target groups of the population by purchasing medicines, food and personal hygiene items and delivering them to the homes of the elderly and people living alone, chronically ill, families with disabled people and other vulnerable categories of citizens.

CSOs activities

The issue of lack of information, especially to the most vulnerable categories, was largely addressed by CSOs through their preparation and sharing of information, announcements, advice and guidance on health care and dealing with the COVID-19 crisis to the target groups.

Organisations that provide free legal aid as part of their regular activities or have other appropriate expertise have responded quickly and redirected their activities to provide free legal aid, psychological support, and other SOS support lines for the target groups in the crisis situation as well as services for helping and supporting victims of domestic violence.

Further on, organisations working on research and analysis, those monitoring government work or conducting regular monitoring of human rights protection, and many other CSOs during this period have developed and shared analyses and research on the impact of COVID-19 in the relevant areas. However, the organisations did not only do analyses but also reacted to state institutions on issues they have expertise and could help to deal better with the crisis together. Individual organisations, platforms and networks as well as informally organized groups of organisations prepared and sent joint proposals, reactions, requests to state institutions. Thus, CSOs have shown that they are open to cooperate and to act together before the government institutions for issues and key search for the good of the target groups and the citizens in general.

The efforts and initiatives of a number of organisations working on providing tools, educational and resource materials for the target groups should not be left out and forgotten.

These are just some of the activities and initiatives undertaken by CSOs to deal with the crisis caused by COVID-19 in March-April 2020. More information on a number of other actions is available at: https://civicamobilitas.mk/covid-19/ as well as on CSOs’ websites and social media.

Information

Legal Aid, psychological support, other SOS support lines

Support to victims of domestic violence

Prepared and shared analyses and research on the impact of COVID-19

Proposals, reactions and requests to state institutions

Tools, educational and resource materials for the target groups

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