COOPI. How we are dealing with the COVID-19 emergency
23-03-2020 | di COOPI

COOPI. How we are dealing with the COVID-19 emergency

The safety of workers and the inclusion of activities aimed at coronavirus prevention in projects are the main figures through which COOPI is facing the coronavirus emergency, in Italy and abroad.

In Italy, since the first ordinance of the Ministry of Health and the Lombardy Region of 21 February, COOPI has safeguarded the health of workers by opting for agile working: this formula was first ensured to employees with families or with the need to use public transport, then, as the ordinances of the Italian Government advanced, we organized ourselves in such a way as to reach almost all employees.

Since last Tuesday 17th March, the Milan office has been closed, but operational: each COOPI employee continues his or her work remotely to ensure the continuity of services and the support of activities abroad; moreover, the organization is always contactable by phone (02-3085057) and by e-mail (coopi@coopi.org).

Abroad, in anticipation of the arrival of COVID-19, each COOPI foreign coordination has developed a contingency plan to safeguard the health of both expatriate and local staff. Each plan contains measures for information, prevention and behaviour in case of emergency.

In addition, in these days, each foreign coordination is examining ongoing projects to understand, on the one hand, how to carry out the activities and, on the other, how to include initiatives to raise awareness about coronavirus in the communities where we operate.

The first difficulties encountered in ensuring humanitarian aid are due to the restriction in the movement of people and goods: many operators cannot undertake field missions and are forced to work remotely, sometimes from their own homes; moreover, the distribution of the planned goods (food, seeds, educational kits) is slowing down, due to the blockages and sometimes the difficulty of finding these goods on the local market.

For some activities that are suspended, there are others to be carried out. In order to prepare local communities for the COVID-19 emergency, COOPI is planning awareness-raising and prevention activities also through ongoing projects, thanks to the climate of collaboration that has been created in most countries with institutional donors and public authorities.