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Developing Countries: Coronavirus

Department for International Development written question – answered on 18th May 2020.

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Photo of Fleur Anderson Fleur Anderson Labour, Putney

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps her Department is taking to co-ordinate its response to covid-19 in developing countries with local community groups.

Photo of Wendy Morton Wendy Morton Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Foreign and Commonwealth Office) (Joint with the Department for International Development)

We are playing a leading role in the global response to COVID-19. The UK has, to date, pledged up to £744 million of UK aid to mitigate the health, humanitarian, and economic risks and impacts of COVID-19 in support of the poorest and most vulnerable.

We are working hard to ensure that our help reaches those most in need through close collaboration with our partners. Civil society plays a particularly important role in ensuring UK aid reaches the most vulnerable communities. Much of our work is delivered through our extensive country office network. We are currently reviewing our programme portfolio to be more responsive to COVID-19. For example, we are working with groups in Bangladesh to support and help mobilise a nationwide network of 50,000 Community Health Workers and volunteers to raise awareness of COVID-19 in their communities.

The UK is also providing £55 million to the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. They play a unique role in slowing the spread of this virus at the community level, by supporting local preparations and public communication on how to reduce risk.

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