Qatar Red Crescent Society (QRCS) has launched a large-scale international relief initiative to implement a series of Covid-19 control projects in 22 countries, benefiting some 320,000 people.

A budget of QR2,236,827 has been allocated for the scheme, which will be implemented directly by QRCS’s foreign representation offices and missions in co-operation with the host fellow national societies, according to a press statement.

The target countries are as follows:

* Asia: Palestine, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nepal, Tajikistan, Mongolia and Laos

* Africa: Ethiopia, Chad, Senegal, Mauritania, Côte d'Ivoire, Mali and Sierra Leone

* Europe: Albania, Kosovo and Montenegro

* South America: Venezuela, El Salvador and Peru

* North America: Panama

* Oceania: Vanuatu

QRCS chief executive director Ibrahim Abdullah al-Maliki said, “The initiative is aimed at backing the efforts exerted by those countries to reduce the spread of the virus, alleviate its impact on the populations, provide health protection supplies for ambulance and emergency personnel, and support health facilities and services to be able to provide care for the suspected and confirmed cases."

This initiative, he explained, was a "cardinal form of support for health systems in the target countries, where the consequences of the pandemic weighed heavily on the health facilities".

“QRCS will provide medicines, medical equipment and consumables for the treatment of patients,” continued al-Maliki. “We will enhance protection of the medical professionals who deal with quarantined patients by securing masks, gloves, sanitisers and other medical protective supplies. Also, food baskets will be distributed to the families most affected by the lockdown."

Co-operation agreements have been signed with the partner national societies for the purpose of implementation. Preliminary co-ordination has already commenced, and the execution process will last until the end of 2020, QRCS has said.

"This is part of QRCS’s efforts to combat Covid-19 in Qatar and beyond. Under the supervision of Qatar’s Ministry of Public Health, QRCS has undertaken significant roles in operating quarantine facilities, taking swabs at its Workers’ Health Centres and deploying its ambulances and first responders," the statement notes. "At the same time, QRCS volunteers had remarkable achievements in raising awareness at shopping centres and public places, disinfecting streets and districts, and inspecting hygiene compliance, just to name a few."

Internationally, QRCS has conducted many coronavirus control and relief operations through its missions in Lebanon, Bangladesh, Turkey, Iraq, Yemen and Gaza. This portfolio involved establishing isolation centres and field hospitals, supporting healthcare facilities, providing medical protective materials and donating in-kind medical supplies for the health authorities.

"QRCS pays great attention to economic and food aid for the communities, refugees and displaced persons affected by the pandemic, believing that concerted efforts are necessary to fight such a threat to millions of lives around the world," the statement adds.

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