Building resilience is critical to minimise impact of humanitarian crises
Contd from previous issue
Recovery will require application of a comprehensive approach across the triple nexus through a resilience lens. There are already reports of increase in maternal and neonatal morbidity and mortality, increase in unmet need for family planning and increased risk of gender-based violence and harmful practices during the lockdowns.
But Dr Tomoko Kurokawa is upbeat with examples of innovative and creative demonstrations of resilience at various levels for the continuity of provision of sexual and reproductive health information and services across the Asia Pacific region during the pandemic. She shares that "In Pakistan, a women's safety App was upgraded as an innovative solution to counteract challenges posed by lack of mobility and gender-based violence during the lock-down. In Afghanistan, a youth health line providing adolescent sexual and reproductive health information and services has reached over 5000 young people. In Mongolia, telemedicine services were set up by practising physicians to provide quality sexual and reproductive health services. In Mongolia a legendary Mongolian queen chatbot avatar provides counselling to adolescents about life and love on Facebook. In the Philippines, a free condom delivery service under 'a condom heroes program', is enabling people in lockdown to access condoms".
Investing in resilience helps prevent and curtail economic, environmental and human losses in the event of a crisis, thus protecting development gains and benefiting many of the sustainable development goals.
The 'new normal', necessitated by COVID-19, will require agility, creativity and nimbleness to bridge the humanitarian development peace divide and to empower women, girls and young people as agents of change to build resilience and ensure sustainability of effective humanitarian action.
Shobha Shukla is the founding Managing Editor of CNS (Citizen News Service) and is a feminist, health and development justice advocate. She is a former senior Physics faculty of Loreto Convent College and current Coordinator of Asia Pacific Media Network to end TB & tobacco and prevent NCDs (APCAT Media). Follow her on Twitter @shobha1shukla)