Frequently Asked Questions
Q: How is Plan responding?
A: Plan is building on expertise from past health emergencies such as Ebola and Zika, to which we effectively responded from 2014 to 2016. We are presently active in more than 54,000 communities in over 70 countries, and we are working with communities to message the importance of hygiene and healthy behaviors, such as hand-washing. In addition, Plan is providing sanitation and hygiene kits and building access to water and safe bathrooms. We are also working to protect girls, who are among the most vulnerable during a crisis, by working against harmful practices like child marriage, trafficking and gender-based violence, which can escalate during emergencies.
Here are a few snapshots of Plan’s ongoing response around the world:
In Bangladesh, Plan is providing 10,000 households with financial support, distributing 25,000 hygiene kits, providing 6,670 counselling sessions and conducting more than 2,500 hygiene-promotion sessions. In addition, Plan is working with the Ministry of Rural Development in Cambodia to translate hygienic best practice campaigns into minority languages in order to reach some of the poorest households.
In Benin, Plan is providing over 5,600 hand-washing kits and liquid soap for over 1,000 schools.
In Ethiopia, Plan has installed eight hand-washing stations in Addis Ababa and distributed 15,000 hygiene and sanitation kits in the Gambella refugee camp.
In Fiji, child-friendly educational booklets about COVID-19 have been distributed in Central Bougainville communities.
In Guinea, Plan is ensuring information on the virus is easily accessible in all communities and schools in which we work. Through Plan Girls’ Clubs, adolescent girls are being trained to lead and help raise awareness of ways to combat COVID-19.
In Mexico and Guatemala, Plan is providing food, personal hygiene and menstrual hygiene kits, as well as COVID-19 prevention and treatment information to migrants. Plan is broadcasting messages focusing on child protection, preventing domestic violence against girls and children, and other health precautions in Guatemala through radio, social media, WhatsApp and TV. These campaigns have reached more than 408,000 people.
In Indonesia, Plan has distributed more than 11,000 hygiene kits (including soap, shampoo, toothpaste, a toothbrush, a towel and hygiene promotion games), and over 8,000 awareness posters about COVID-19 prevention to sponsored children. Plan has also provided hand sanitizer and bars of soap to communities in South Jakarta, reaching more than 2,600 people.
In Myanmar, Plan has distributed soap and sanitary materials to more than 14,000 households. We’ve also distributed food to 50,000 internally displaced persons in Rakhine.
In Paraguay, Plan has provided seven hospitals and 47 health posts with gloves, masks, protective goggles, batteries, tents and other resources.
In the Philippines, Plan is working with local governments to source and distribute personal protective equipment, thermal scanners and other related health equipment. In addition, with support from the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), Plan is distributing grants to local governments to combat the virus.
In Senegal, Plan is encouraging girls to share disease prevention messages on social media. Girls have created short videos to sensitize their peers about the COVID-19 pandemic.
In the Solomon Islands, Plan is distributing messages about the dangers of cultural norms such as sharing water bottles and food, as well as spitting nut seeds on the ground. We’re also providing hand-washing and hygiene training.
In South Korea, Plan is distributing emergency kits to children, which include face masks, hand sanitizer, instant rice and snacks. Child-friendly hygiene messages are also included in the kits to teach children how to protect themselves from the virus.
In Zambia, 5,000 children who are out of school have been given food from Plan. We are also teaching hygienic best practices to parents while distributing the food.
Q: How can you protect yourself and loved ones?
A: CDC recommendations:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available.
- It is also recommended to avoid crowds and non-essential travel.
Q: What is Plan doing to protect employees?
A: Plan International USA has a task force that regularly meets to make decisions regarding Plan’s response to COVID-19. This results in a daily communication that is shared with all staff. Employees are currently working remotely, and this decision is evaluated each week. Employees who visit or travel through CDC level-three countries, or who have been exposed to someone who has the virus, are asked to self-quarantine for two weeks. All non-essential travel has been suspended.
Plan has a flexible PTO policy, and staff have been encouraged to use it as needed. In addition, the Wellness Committee is promoting hygiene and self-care during the crisis.