Tuesday, 14 April 2020 – FB Live Yayasan Hasanah
Antara perkara penting yang dibincangkan dalam sesi Zoom Yayasan Hasanah berkenaan “Bagaimana Untuk Bertindak Secara Berkesan dan Memberi Bantuan Kemanusiaan Sewaktu Pandemik: Pembelajaran Untuk Organisasi Masyarakat Sivil di Malaysia”, adalah:
1) inisiatif lokalisasi,
2) etika dan prinsip kerja-kerja kemanusiaan,
3) memahami keadaan mangsa, dan
4) koordinasi antara pihak-pihak yang memberi bantuan.
Hanya sedikit isu berkenaan gender dibangkitkan oleh Tan Sri Dr. Jemilah apabila beliau menegaskan keperluan memberi lebih perhatian kepada wanita.
Namun perhatian tersebut bukan hanya kerana terdapat peningkatan dalam isu keganasan rumahtangga dan wanita antara yang terkesan akibat PKP, tetapi kerana wanita itu sendiri merupakan ‘great leader in crisis’ (pemimpin hebat dalam krisis).
Oleh itu, bantuan yang berfokus kepada wanita akan menjamin keselamatan seisi keluarga.
Selain itu, panelis lain turut memberi penekanan kepada golongan seperti pekerja asing (migrant workers) dan pelarian (refugees) serta menyeru untuk berhenti daripada stigmatisasi sosial yang menyebabkan mereka takut untuk mendapatkan bantuan.
Berikut ialah perkongsian yang diberikan oleh Tan Sri Dr. Jemilah Mahmood, Penasihat Khas Kesihatan Awam kepada Perdana Menteri, Lilianne Fan dari Geutanyoe Foundation dan Said Alhudzari Ibrahim dari MERCY Malaysia.
Tan Sri Dr. Jemilah Mahmood, Special Advisor to the Prime Minister
A pandemic is a very difficult and challenging crisis to manage and very different from other hazards and other crisis that we are more familiar with.
– Tan Sri Dr. Jemilah Mahmood, Special Advisor to the Prime Minister
1. Communities Empowering communities with knowledge
- Critical that communities are part of our response, our risk communication and our engagement.
- The management of a pandemic must begin from communities and that the solution is within the communities taking care of each other.
- Pandemics are something that we need to not just treat in terms of the health crisis but also make sure we don’t further the transmission of the virus.
To do this, communities need to trust information that it is receiving and it has to be well informed of all the risks, and it has to be done by people that they trust – community groups, religious groups, civil society organisations.
When you have an area with an Enhanced Movement Control Order (EMCO), only certain groups can get into the area hence the empowerment of knowledge within the community e.g maintain social distance, wash your hands etc.
3. Do No Harm
If you don’t know how to address pandemic issues and to keep yourself safe, take a step back and allow people who understand how to deliver assistance to do their job.
4. Ethics and Principles: Impartial – Neutral – Independent
Treat people who you are helping with respect not as helpless or hopeless. They are also the people who can give solutions. Do not discriminate where they come from, what nationality they are, what race or religious group they belong to. Ensure that we are independent and treat them with humanity. Mutual respect.
5. Women, children, the elderly, people with disabilities, migrants and refugees
Women play an important role during a crisis. They are great leaders and also strong leaders. Target assistance towards woman, and the whole family will be safe.
6. Transparency and Accountability
Malaysians are very generous. When you receive a lot of funding, you must show where it is going. You are accountable not just to donors but also to the people who need assistance. Think carefully what you provide them with, listen to them, also think if the assistance is culturally acceptable e.g. are they vegetarian, their religious diets, always listen and close the feedback loop.
Lilianne Fan, Geutanyoe Foundation
The MCO has exposed inequalities in many ways i.e. people who are unable to sustain themselves.
– Lilianne Fan, Geutanyoe Foundation
People in real situations can be very complicated, hence the need to have richer understanding of complexity, vulnerability, respect and preserving the dignity of human beings.
2. Communication and Language
Negotiation and language matters when you speak to communities. Migrants, refugees and stateless persons don’t understand local language. Most don’t have access to communication. There are pockets of the population that are illiterate especially women. Provide access to mobile or smart phones and communicate through voice messages via community leaders. Ensure that literature provided is in their language.
3. Left out
With the MCO, came to realise that a lot of Malaysians are not registered with government agencies e.g. LHDN for BPN, to be able to claim assistance and receive aid that they are eligible for.
Refugees and migrants don’t just need food assistance but also face threat of eviction, assistance with paying rent. Malaysians too find themselves in a similar situation. Hence, not just about delivering aid but also listening to what type of assistance they need.
Request from refugees – they will try to get assistance from who can help them first.
Cross checking is important. Don’t assume that everyone who has received one distribution is ok. What’s in your package? When did you distribute. Don’t assume that everyone who has received something has everything.
4. Government link
Listen to the community – try to understand – link up with government channels – make the government understand.
Said Alhudzari Ibrahim, MERCY Malaysia
We are in the middle of a crisis but with no displacement. How do you identify what is more urgent? Who do we prioritize in this situation?
– Said Alhudzari Ibrahim, MERCY Malaysia
1. Basic process at MERCY
- Match with funding that MERCY has
- Deliver assistance
Work in partnership with Jabatan Kebajikan Masyarakat (JKM), Majlis Keselamatan Negara (MKN), UNHCR, IMARET, Malaysian relief agencies and NGOs.
When working in partnership, verify data, share information, ensure that there is no duplication or replication of information. Establish a point of contact for B40s, migrants etc..
3. Risk communication
During distribution activities bring a medical team and approach communities and families and increase awareness. By doing this many have come forward to do screening given their involvement in the Sri Petaling Tabligh gathering.
4. Risk Management
Separate operations hub for COVID-19 from other current activities so that that the team don’t get infected with COVID-19. Hold virtual meetings only to reduce spread of disease.
To mitigate potential spread of virus, other current operations are not involved with COVID-19.
Risk mitigation measures taken – Decentralise distribution hub – State chapters manage distribution.
Safety of front liners – They must have proper gears and given screening.
The government does not know each and every NGO’s SOP, regardless whether you are a big or small organisation. Therefore it tries to come up with a simple guideline and standardize policies.
JKM is not stopping NGOs from distributing aid, if anything, they were quick to respond to MERCY’s letter and sent a representative to where MERCY were at. When an event as big as this takes place NGOs don’t have the manpower to carry out distribution on its own. Everyone needs to work in coordination so that it is done correctly.
With COVID-19, one or two people from an NGO will join the distribution work, assisted by the community, RELA and other government agencies.
Selangor JKM – MERCY sent them a letter, JKM gave clearance.
Perak – asked to give distributions to them, but will allow MERCY team to participate.
Kelantan – JKM will distribute. Given the option to target certain groups e.g. asnaf, JKM asked NGO to work with penghulu and allowed to follow distribution activities.
No resistance from JKM.
Recommendation for smaller organisations
Speak to district JKM or welfare departments. Some JKMs don’t have enough manpower or numbers within the district is too large.
If you are going to distribute show on your list who you are serving, so that they will allow you to carry out distribution.
If u want to coordinate work with JKM u need to have a list of group or people who u want to assist so that there are no duplications.
Try to work in partnership. There are limitations.
Every organisation is not big enough to cover nationwide.
If there is a particular request from a certain area, collaborate.
Share information gathered, do not work in silos.
With everyone’s involvement in a very coordinated manner, without overlaps, it can run smoothly.
The government cannot cover everyone. It doesn’t mean they don’t care. They need help from everyone to see where the gaps are, to help them ensure that we are all taken care of.
Refugees were afraid to come out. MOH announced no one left behind including refugees, stateless people and migrant workers. Foreigners with symptoms tested for free and treated for free. Cost barriers taken away. Please come forward. No boundaries, no restrictions.
Refugees sent voice messages in their native language and many came out if they had symptoms. The message highlights our inter-dependence of one another.
Tabligh gathering also had undocumented population.
Strengthening the work
Calling for large organization like MERCY Malaysia, Red Cross, IMARET to work together to support the capacity development of the smaller ones. This is the time to distribute workload. They may be smaller but not weak, they are just smaller.
No one can be everywhere. The smaller ones strengthen the bigger ones with coordination.
What can u do well according to your capacity and delivering quality assistance with respectability.
Coordination hub or centre with proper database to be set up as a one stop information centre which will also be able to facilitate approvals you require and match needs with access to MKN/JKM.
How to mobilise student volunteers from universities?
Give assistance that requires very little movement – sew PPE, make face shields.
With MCO, mobilisation and movement of people are not currently not allowed. Support and assistance must minimise movement.
COVID-19 has given us the opportunity to re-examine and improve our systems, policies, communication procedures and accountability.
The corporate sector is to us an advantage in assisting to make civil society organisations ready on improving its systems.