Covid-19: Supporting vulnerable communities in Pakistan
FOCUS and the Aga Khan Agency for Habitat (AKAH), an agency of the Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) is proactivity working to analyse the current COVID-19 situation in Pakistan. As safety, particularly the safety of vulnerable communities, is the agency’s mandate, the AKAH team and its network of more than 35,000 trained volunteers across the country are assisting communities and local authorities to deal with the coronavirus crisis.
Pakistan has a large population with limited access to health services and AKAH are playing a key role in the response to the pandemic. AKAH used FOCUS emergency funding to help supply two weeks’ worth of food for 4,000 households as well as essential medicines and personal protective equipment across Pakistan, including, in particular, isolated mountain communities in Chitral and Gilgit-Baltistan.
Thanks to the efforts of trained volunteers at the community level, AKAH was able to quickly and efficiently procure and transport food stocks to rural and urban locations across the country, a significant challenge for such a large undertaking. These food supplies will provide families access to food during isolation and quarantine, reducing the stress of food insecurity during the lockdown period.
In addition, AKAH is also supporting other AKDN agencies, community voluntary bodies and local authorities in emergency planning and providing technical services. FOCUS & AKAH are working with the Aga Khan Health Services (AKHS), to establish coronavirus screening and isolation centers in Gilgit-Baltistan and Chitral, to extend the capacity of local health systems to respond the pandemic.