Afghanistan: COVID-19 emergency response – Middle East and Eastern Europe Regional Situation Report #11 – 30 July 2020

Middle East USA World

Situation Overview

COVID-19 Cases: 244,466
COVID-19 Deaths: 8,924

The COVID-19 pandemic continues to influence people’s access to services and assistance, and humanitarian actors’ access across and within countries of the Middle East and Eastern Europe Region.

The increase in COVID-19 cases in Government of Syria controlled areas have overwhelmed the capacity of local hospitals, with the Ministry of Health instructing hospitals in Damascus and rural Damascus to stop taking in COVID-19 patients.The COVID-19 outbreak in northwest Syria has led to restrictions on freedom of movement Following the recent detection of the first COVID-19 cases in Syria’s northwest, Idlib, western and northern Aleppo saw a return to the implementation of COVID-19 precautionary measures.

Israel continues to struggle to contain the pandemic and its economic fallout; public protests are increasing in size and intensity. Israel prematurely lifted most restrictions in late May, resulting in a surge of new infections and prompting the government to reimpose many restrictions.The surge in cases comes as the government wrestles with widespread unemployment and allegations that it failed to support businesses and workers as lockdown restrictions returned.
A rise in number of COVID-19 cases in Lebanon, Iraq, Romania, Albania, and Kosovo have forced governments to reintroduce lockdowns and travel restrictions, impacting access and reach of World Vision operations.

World Vision is responding to the impact of COVID-19 in 13 countries and territories in the Middle East and Eastern Europe, especially in places where children and families are most vulnerab

Key Highlights

World Vision Syria

World Vision Syria, in a joint statement with other NGOs, demanded access to provide cross-border aid, as it is a vital lifeline mechanism for **millions of Syrians, the majority being women and children.

World Vision International President and CEO, Andrew Morley, urged the UN Security Council members to adopt a resolution that authorises UN cross-border operations and allows unfettered humanitarian access to all Syrians.
While World Vision welcomed the UN Security Council Resolution 2533, we still call for the UN Security Council members to urgently find a solution for the northeast, and to expand access to all of the northwest. The urgency is also due to new COVID-19 cases.

World Vision Albania and Kosovo

The Child Protection in Education working group, which World Vision co-leads, appealed to the Government of Albania concerning two severe cases: a sexually abused girl and an adolescent beaten by the police for not following lockdown restrictions.

As a result, the prime minister approved a new order aiming to establish the Inter-Institutional Working Group to improve systems to prevent and address violence against children. Also, the parliament issued a resolution commiting to monitor the implementation of the recommendations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child by all relevant institutions engaged in child protection, especially gender-based violence.