At the formal request of the Ministry of Health and Social Protection of the Population of the Republic of Tajikistan (MHSPPRT) and with financial support from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the Branch of the German Caritas Association in Tajikistan (Caritas Germany) provided nearly 33,500 euros’ worth of humanitarian aid to 16 cities and districts in Tajikistan.

This donation, which included 2,000 protective suits, 810 hygiene kits and 400 packages of foodstuff, was aimed at strengthening preventive measures against COVID-19. Two hospitals and two rehabilitation centers in Dushanbe, regional hospitals in Khujand, Kulob, Bokhtar and Khorugh cities and central hospitals of Vahdat, Rudaki, Lakhsh, Rasht, Shahrinav, Isfara, B. Ghafurov, J. Rasulov, Istaravshan and Devashtich cities and districts which are under quarantine received from 20 to 200 pieces of protective suits as per their needs. Hygiene kits (soap, antiseptic, disinfectant, etc.) and packages of foodstuff (flour, oil, sugar, pasta, etc.) were distributed to most needy families, particularly those families with a disabled member in Dushanbe, Vahdat and Isfara cities and Rudaki, Lakhsh, Rasht, Shahrinav, B. Ghafurov, J. Rasulov, Istaravshan and Devashtich districts. Also, hygiene kits were provided to all social workers of the departments of social assistance at home in the above-mentioned cities and districts. In addition, information posters and stickers were distributed and recommendations were provided to raise awareness of COVID-19 and protective measures against it among beneficiaries.

Caritas Germany distributed together with local partners and volunteers in the target cities and districts in order to speed up distribution and ensure that aid reached the most vulnerable groups. Representatives from Social Protection Department of the MHSPPRT accompanied Caritas Germany’s staff during the entire distribution process. It was a good opportunity for persons with disabilities to meet and directly talk to MHSPPRT’s representatives and get answers to their questions with regard to free health care services, provision of technical assistive devices and other social benefits provided by the government.

It is worth noting that Caritas Germany early this year modified all action plans within its projects to prevent the possible emergence of COVID-19 in its target districts. Since the beginning of April, as part of the organization’s activities, protective suits, hygienic or food packages and information materials have been purchased and distributed to the most vulnerable state structures, such as Batosh nursing home, a juvenile colony, boarding schools, departments of social assistance at home, 4 Рrimary Health Care facilities, 4 schools and 1 Primary Health Care facility in Ayni district.

Moreover, based on recommendations and best practices on symptoms and prevention of COVID-19 provided by the World Health Organization and other sources, Caritas Germany created an awareness-raising poster in Tajik and Uzbek languages and printed and distributed 5,000 copies among its beneficiaries. This was made possible with funds from the European Union within the framework of its other two more Community-Based Rehabilitation projects implemented in Ayni and Shahrituz districts. Uzbeks make 15 percent of Tajik population and this was the first ever COVID-19 related poster issued in Uzbek language in the country.

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