COVID-19 Response May, 2020

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to spread in the Amazon, local and indigenous communities are among the most vulnerable. Marginal access to healthcare, limited hygiene resources, and still weaker government support in deterring potentially contagious intruders put even the most remote communities at risk.  

Here is how we are reshaping our current priorities in response to the pandemic. 

ACT-US

Communications efforts

Area: International |


Biosecurity materials being delivered, La Pedrera, Colombia

ACT-COLOMBIA

Communications efforts

Area: International |

Area: National |

  • Developed and disseminated infographics with information about the use of cloth facemasks.
  • Developed and disseminated a children’s book to better inform young indigenous and rural populations about COVID-19.
  • Recorded and disseminated COVID-19 health safety radio announcements and videos in the Uitoto (n+pode) and Koreguaje indigenous languages to better inform rural indigenous populations.
  • Recorded and disseminated COVID-19 health safety radio announcements with national influencers to better reach young indigenous populations.
  • Supported the design and preparation of border signs for the entrances to the Kogui Malayo Arhuaco Reserve to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in their communities.
  • In partnership with the Organization of Indigenous Peoples of the Amazon (OPIAC) and 16 civil society organizations, supported the purchase of a communications system to maintain ongoing communication with communities.
  • Provided financial support to cover internet expenses for indigenous regional delegates to the Amazon Regional Roundtable who are working with local and national government agencies to ensure the incorporation of human rights considerations in the government’s actions.

Biosecurity Measures

Area: Amazonas | Middle Caquetá River | Putumayo | Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta |

  • Delivered personal protection equipment (PPE) and biosecurity kits to indigenous communities, indigenous associations, health posts and indigenous guards in charge of monitoring access to and exit from their territory.
  • For a sewing workshop of an association of women victims of the armed conflict in Leticia, provided machines and fabrics to produce cloth facemasks for their community.
  • Supplied fuel for transportation to an indigenous community and an indigenous institution to help them deliver food to families in remote areas.

Essential Needs

Area: Amazonas | Middle Caquetá River | Fragua | Putumayo | Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta | Vaupés

  • Delivered survival kits to indigenous communities. The kits allow indigenous communities to voluntarily isolate in the forest and protect themselves from the spread of COVID-19.
  • Provided financial support for the purchase of food and medicines for families vulnerable to COVID-19.
  • Provided funds to the ASOMI women’s association to meet emergency needs, especially food for the most vulnerable elders.
  • Purchased tumas (sacred offering stones) for the rituals of the mamos (senior priests/leaders) of the Kogui Malayo Arhuaco reserve.
  • Provided basic food supplies to fisherman and their families.

Support focus

  • Educational resources
  • Fuel for transportation
  • Financial support
  • Food supplies
  • Medicine supplies
  • Hygiene supplies
  • Biosecurity kits
  • Personal protection equipment (PPE)
  • Survival Kits

Emergency food supplies being delivered , Brazil
Photo courtesy of APIWA

ACT-BRASIL

Area: National |

Management

Supported COIAB (the Coordination of Indigenous Organizations of the Brazilian Amazon) in the creation of an indigenous committee to regionally monitor the spread of the virus and the number of cases.


Communications

Area: National

  • In collaboration with the Instituto Socioambiental (ISA) and FUNAI, supported the indigenous association APIWA in the production of flyers with COVID-19 health safety information in native languages and Portuguese.

Biosecurity Measures

Area: Northern Brazil |

  • Provided financial support for the ACT/APITIKATXI support house (Casa de Apoio) in Macapá, as an official DSEI (institution responsible for indigenous health) center for indigenous peoples to remain in quarantine before returning to remote villages.

Essential Needs

Area: Northern Brazil | Xingu |

  • In partnership with the indigenous organization APIWA, the Instituto Socioambiental (ISA) and FUNAI, supported Wai Wai families with supplies so that they may remain quarantined in remote regions and develop Brazil nut food sovereignty initiatives.
  • Supported the APITIKATXI and APIWA indigenous organizations’ purchase of food and hygiene supplies for Waiana, Apalai, Wai Wai, Tiriyó, Katxuyana and Txikyiana individuals in social isolation.
  • Supported the Ulupuene Indigenous Association’s purchase of emergency supplies, food, and necessary items for the quarantine of community members and their implementation of measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Support focus

  • Financial support
  • Educational resources
  • Food and hygiene supplies    

Matawai Community Suriname

ACT-SURINAME

Communications

Area: National |

  • Developed and disseminated COVID-19 health safety infographics and posters, audio messages and videos in multiple languages (Dutch, Sranantongo, Trio, Wayana, and Matawai) to better inform indigenous and tribal populations.

Biosecurity Measures

Area: National |

  • Provided financial support for the Medical Mission to purchase soap and disinfecting materials and distribute these to the southern Suriname villages of Kwamalasamutu, Pelelu Tepu, Apetina, Kawemhakan, Alalapadu, Palumeu, Curuni and Sipaliwini.
  • ACT-trained Amazon Conservation Rangers helped the Medical Mission distribute soap and disinfectants, accompanied with biosafety instructions, in the aforementioned communities.
  • Supported the efforts of the Amazon Conservation Rangers and traditional clinics to provide traditional medicine and monitor potential risks in interior communities, such as people showing symptoms and travelers or trespassers entering high-risk areas.

Essential Needs

Area: National |

  • Conducted a collaborative Knowledge, Attitude and Practices (KAP) survey with UNICEF to assess how women and children are being impacted by COVID-19 in rural communities, in order to identify the pressing needs of the communities and provide an adequate response.
  • With the help of traditional authorities and Amazon Conservation Rangers, provided households in the Matawai area (across all villages) with food packages.

Support focus

  • Educational resources
  • Financial support
  • Food and hygiene supplies

Cover photo courtesy of APIWA

Amazon Conservation Team

The Amazon Conservation Team partners with indigenous and other local communities to protect tropical forests and strengthen traditional culture.

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