COVID-19: LIUPCP’s emergency response reaches millions of urban poor

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DHAKA, 29 MARCH (2020): As the COVID-19 pandemic poses great threat to the lives of Bangladesh’s urban poor communities, Livelihoods Improvement of Urban Poor Communities Project (LIUPCP) has responded urgently to protect 2.16 million urban poor people from the deadly virus.

In line with the National Preparedness and Response Plan (NPRP) for COVID-19 Bangladesh, Local Government Division’s LIUPCP project with financial support from Department for International Development (DFID) and technical support from United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has responded urgently to safeguarding the progresses on the SDGs and delivering on the pledge to leave no one behind.

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According to the World Health Organisation, globally 571 678 people have been confirmed tested positive for COVID-19 while 26 494 deaths were reported till 28 March 2020 (Data as reported to WHO by national authorities to WHO by 10:00 CET 28 March 2020.)

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In Bangladesh, 48 people have been tested positive for COVID-19 while the death figure has been reported 5 as of March 28, 2020 by the Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR), Dhaka.

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The urban low-income communities in Bangladesh are exposed to high risk of infections for overcrowded living conditions with inadequate sanitation and WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) facilities.

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LIUPCP has taken a three-pronged approach in responding concomitantly across the pre-surge, surge and recovery phases, with a focus on vulnerable populations including women, children, elderly and persons with disabilities (PWD).

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“We are closely working in partnership with 20 City Corporations/Paurashavas currently with around 2.16 million beneficiaries grouped under around 2500 Community Development Committees (CDCs),” Joint Secretary of the Government and National Project Director of LIUPCP Md Abdul Mannan said.

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He said around 1200+ community workers are at the forefront of LIUPCP’s implementation on the ground through community mobilization process. “Against the backdrop of current scenario, LIUPCP has engaged its strength and efforts towards prevention of COVID-19 pandemic. The strong network and platform established at the city corporation and paurashava level are engaged for preparedness and early actions against COVID-19.”

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To ensure protection of front line workers, the project has provided Personnel Protection Equipment (PPE)/hygiene kit.

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As part of the emergency response plan, LIUPCP has kicked off a communication and outreach campaign in the project areas. Information, Education and Communication (IEC)/Behavior Change Communication (BCC) through all the media channels & involving influential groups, community leaders, religious leaders, health workers and community workers are now underway.

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LIUPCP has started installation of 2500 handwashing facilities at the key locations of 20 City Corporations/Paurashava as well as community. In addition, promotion of individual handwashing behavior and introducing low-cost facilities (Tipi-tap) at household level are taking place at the community level.

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Urban poor households have been receiving hygienic package from the project that includes soaps. 

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The project has been supporting the city corporations and paurashava in the areas of coordination & capacity building. LIUPCP’s support towards existing coordination mechanism at the city/ town level has been in place as per Standing Orders on Disaster (SOD) under the leadership of Mayor.

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The project will also sensitize and work for capacity building of the health officials and volunteers in 20 cities. In addition, data, research and third party monitoring though Online Management Information Systems has been a priority.