Corona pandemic is sweeping the globe

The coronavirus disease (COVID-19) has already made inroads into the world’s poorest countries. If not stopped, the consequences could be catastrophic. NCA is responding to the pandemic in many of these countries, focusing on protecting the most vulnerable. Access to clean water and good hygiene is critical to stopping the virus spreading and forms the cornerstone of NCA’s response.



Read also

NCA Covid-19 Global Response Plan - 27.4.2020 (PDF)

NCA’s Response

NCA’s Water, Sanitation and Hygiene programme has provided communities with life-saving water and hygiene services for decades. In 2018 alone, 1,5 million people received access to safe water, whilst 500,000 were trained in good hygiene practices. NCA and partners are now intensifying this work to provide communities with what they need to slow down the spread of the virus – the water, knowhow and facilities to wash their hands.  

We see that our work with water, sanitation and hygiene contributes to saving thousands of lives, said Norwegian Church Aid’s General Secretary, Dagfinn Høybråten.

Information about COVID-19 has become part of hygiene training, focusing on handwashing and other preventative measures like coughing in your elbow. We are also preparing for increased water delivery to communities, distributing hygiene packages, and ensuring health institutions have access to soap, hand disinfectant and other protective equipment. NCA’s faith-based partners form an integral link in NCA’s response, communicating information to their constituencies and communities, encouraging the closure of religious institutions and places of worship, and tailoring religious ceremonies to meet new national prevention guidelines. As we approach two important global religious events in the coming weeks, Ramadan and Easter, faith actors’ role in stopping the spread of the virus will be paramount.

In addition to continuing our WASH programme, NCA and partners are implementing COVID-19 response activities around the globe.
  • In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) we are building on our Ebola response by supporting religious groups and leaders to share facts about COVID-19 with their constituencies. NCA is also working with religious leaders in Ethiopia to distribute accurate information and counter misinformation.
  • Our Afghanistan office is sourcing isolation tents, whilst in South Darfur Sudan NCA has set up an isolation facility for COVID-19 patients in.
  • In Palestine we are distributing soap and disinfectant to communities, whilst NCA in Mali is distributing hygiene kits together with regional authorities.
  • In Lebanon, COVID-19 has been part of hygiene training in Syrian refugee camps since the start of February, including awareness raising via messaging on social media channels. Our team in Zambia is also equipping thousands of refugees from DRC with information.
  • In Malawi NCA will be integrating hygiene into existing programmes and our local partners have established “COVID-19 task forces” to better coordinate response.
  • In Haiti we are talking with school children about how they can protect themselves from the virus, including information sessions on how to wash their hands.



Our Afghanistan office has provided 50 tents and 50 sets of hygiene items to the health authorities in Samangan Province. The tents will be in hospital areas and will be used to test and isolate Afghans who have been in Iran for Covid-19.

Responsible continuation of NCA’s programmes

NCA is equipping staff in its offices with knowledge and resources to protect themselves from COVID-19. This is not only part of NCA’s duty of care for its employees, it is also vital for the responsible continuation of our programmes and for implementing an effective response. To date some of the countries where NCA operates remain largely unaffected by the spread of the virus and can continue programme implementation with some precautionary measures in place. The majority however have already had to temporarily reduce and adjust activities. NCA’s headquarters and field offices are continuously monitoring the spread of the pandemic and adjusting their approach accordingly.

Photo: Norwegian Church Aid  / Håvard Bjelland.