As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to wreak havoc on world economies and the livelihoods of millions across the globe, JAM remains concerned for the 1.3 million vulnerable persons we serve in Angola, Mozambique, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, South Sudan and Uganda.
In addition to its immediate impact on health outcomes, COVID-19 has disrupted food and nutrition security for our beneficiaries in Africa – those already affected by conflict, displacement, natural disasters and climate change. These are disadvantaged communities who cannot easily afford basic hygiene – water and soap for handwashing to help slow the spread of the virus.
As a result, those dependent on aid and informal food systems, now face a food crisis and the increasing risk of contracting diseases due to lack of hygiene and sanitation facilities.
Our current response includes:
- In Angola, approximately 38 000 children normally dependent on school feeding, have been receiving take-home rations since the closure of schools. Further initiatives include ongoing provision of vital nutritional support in malnutrition clinics as well as provision of hand-washing stations across five provinces reaching over 15 000 people.
- JAM teams in Mozambique, still faced with assisting communities devastated by Cyclone Idai in 2019, have focused on provision of water, sanitation and hygiene as well as risk communication to a catchment area of approximately 15 000 people as well. Parents and caregivers, tasked with visiting schools to collect school work for their children have also been provided with hygiene kits by JAM teams. • In Uganda’s Imvepi Refugee camp, more than 52kgs of freshly harvested vegetables were provided to two vulnerable groups that include pregnant and lactating women, as well as the elderly. In addition, JAM has seen to the installation of hand-washing stations in rural and urban areas, as well as in refugee settlements.
- In Rwanda, JAM teams have provided over 1 000kgs of maize to vulnerable families.
- Through over 3 000 distribution points, and with a presence in all nine provinces, JAM South Africa’s teams have distributed over 1 061 000 take-home rations of JAM porridge to children that normally attend JAM-supported ECD’s.
- In Sierra Leone, 83 000 children, currently facing the threat of malnutrition, will receive lifesaving nutrition in the form of MannaPack rice, thanks to our partner networks.
- In South Sudan, an initial target of 167 000 vulnerable people have been reached through 17 food distribution points (limited in order to adhere to physical distancing requirements) as well as training of 150 frontline workers in the fight against the spread of this disease as well as misinformation.
JAM is increasing our capacity for cash and voucher-based programming. Our aim is to proactively contribute to the development and improvement of multi-purpose cash transfers to meet basic humanitarian needs, including food, water, non-food items (NFIs) and shelter. JAM is dedicated to being a part of an innovative humanitarian system that offers wider choice, preserves people’s dignity and enables faster recovery of informal food systems and markets.