With financial support from the European Union, the Branch of the German Caritas Association in Tajikistan (Caritas Germany) in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Social Protection of the Population of the Republic of Tajikistan (MHSPPRT) delivered 26 tons of food and hygiene assistance worth 33,000 euros to the districts of Shahrituz and Ayni in south and north Tajikistan.

The humanitarian aid was distributed to vulnerable families through partner public organizations, Shifo, ASTI and DARO in presence of the representatives from local government authorities. A total of 5,800 families with a disabled member (3,000 in Shahrituz and 2,800 in Ayni) received personal hygiene kits containing masks, liquid soap and disinfectant. Out of beneficiary families, 1,100 poor ones (700 in Shahrituz and 400 in Ayni) also received food packages including flour, oil, sugar, pasta, rice, salt and matches in addition to hygiene kits. As a precautious measure, 130 community rehabilitation workers and volunteers (70 in Shahrituz and 60 in Ayni) who are involved in distribution process and will continue working with persons with disabilities (PWDs) during COVID-19 pandemic were provided with personal protective kits consisting of masks, disposable gloves, antiseptic and wet wipes. This donation was aimed at helping vulnerable families, particularly PWDs stay safe from the coronavirus.

Moreover, 320 sets of personal protective equipment (PPE) including coveralls, respirators and goggles were donated to 5 health facilities under quarantine in Dushanbe. Caritas Germany together with a representative from Social Protection Department of MHSPPRT distributed PPE sets to those needy health facilities as per the list provided by MHSPPRT.

This humanitarian action was undertaken within the framework of two European Union and Caritas Germany funded Community-Based Rehabilitation projects currently implemented in Shahrituz and Ayni districts. The aim of these projects is to improve the lives and promote social inclusion of PWDs through a series of rehabilitation trainings and exercises, provision of technical assistive devices, vocational trainings, improvement of PWDS’ access to quality public services in the sectors of health, education and disaster risk reduction, etc.

It is worth noting that since mid-April, this was the third emergency humanitarian assistance that Caritas Germany provided to Tajikistan to prevent the spread of COVID-19, using its own and donor funds, including German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

In addition to food and hygiene assistance, Caritas Germany provided technical and financial support to MHSPPRT to develop and print out 600 copies of a Manual on the response of social service facilities’ staff during COVID-19 pandemic. This manual will be used by social service facilities all over the country. Based on best recommendations and practices, an awareness raising poster on COVID-19 was also developed in Tajik and Uzbek languages and distributed among beneficiaries.

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