Introduction of the organisation
ICCO Cooperation is an international organization, whose mission is to end poverty and injustice in the global south, by helping farmers and small businesses grow. Our headquarters is based in the Netherlands with five regional and multiple country offices in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the USA. ICCO has a track record of more than 50 years globally and more than 47 years in Bangladesh. ICCO’s vision is to empower people that build sustainable livelihoods within a society that upholds their rights. We focus on four programmatic areas: food security and sustainable consumption, economic empowerment, responsible business and emergency aid. Besides, ICCO’s four priority areas are: climate-resilient food systems, blended finance, new technologies, and youth entrepreneurship.We believe that long-term success can be achieved through programs and investments carried out by enterprising people and organizations.
Programmatic interventions in response to COVID-19
ICCO cooperation along with implementing partners are responding against COVID-19 as follows-
- Handwashing infrastructure development:
A total of 52 handwashing points have already been installed in Gaibandha district. Moreover, In Ukhiya and Teknaf, total 70 of handwashing points are under construction and to be completed by August.
- Agri-inputs (Seed/sapling, fertilizer and irrigation equipment) distribution:
Under our project in the coastal part of Bangladesh , we have distributed 2700 sampling (1100 papaya & 1600 brinjal) among 111 farmers. We have a plan to distribute agri-inputs (seed, fertilizer and watering can) for the upcoming winter season (September-October) among 2600 coastal salinity affected farmers.
- Mask production and distribution of safety and Hygiene kits:
In the Rohingya camp area, a total of 30 beneficiaries received training on Mask production. In total 11,623 masks have been produced in the camp number 15. Among them, 11,000 masks have been distributed to Action Aid for distributing them to refugees in camp 11. Moreover, under the Salt Solution project, 200 masks have been distributed to 111 farmers for their safety and security. And also planned to distribute 600 safety kits including mask and soap among 600 more coastal farmers.
- Awareness creation:
Under ICCO Cooperation, several projects participated in increasing awareness on Covid 19. In total, 100,000 people from Gaibandha were aware through miking, leaflet distribution. Our flagship project, SONGO, developed and distributed Covid 19 related bcc/leaflet materials, conducted awareness creation through rickshaws, community radio, local elite like Imam in mosques.
Our programme also focuses on special vulnerable groups like Pregnant Women and Lactating mothers. Awareness message on Nutrition telecasts in National Television for pregnant and lactating mothers during Covid 19 period. In total, 50000 leaflets and 11,000 posters distributed for health facilities/service providers in Khulna, Rangpur and Barisal division to include messages priority groups like Pregnant Women Lactating women on pregnancy care.
In Cox’s bazar, in the last week of July, 3 programs were broadcasted on COVID-19 related preventive measures (does and don’ts) through Radio Naf, with a focus on the upcoming Eid festival. Moreover, miking was conducted in few communities to prevent spreading of the virus especially while going to the markets.
In Khulna and Barisal, a total of 6000 leaflets distributed among 6000 farmers’ HHs on COVID-19 awareness.
- Innovation and Capacity building:
-111 no. of farmers received training on climate smart agriculture technologies;
-10 Farmers were trained on vegetables drying as a preservation technique;
-10 farmers dried vegetables for preservation to tackle selling price drop due to Covid 19 situation;
- Food distribution:
Our partner distributed Food Support for 280 Transgenders in Dhaka city. Overall target is support 1000 Transgender population. Under another project, 3,350 households received food packages in (Savar, Mirpur, Moghbazar, Kalachandpur, Sadarghat. Target groups are Rickshaw puller,Day Laborer,Street hawker,Slums dwellers, Women & Disable persons and Vulnerable households.
- Participation in National level discussion on food insecurity created for Covid 19:
ICCO cooperation is strongly affiliated with Right to Food Network in Bangladesh. Our representative participated and contributed in national level discussions on National Budget and Social Security Programs. We also contributed in the research findings dissemination on Impact on Food & Nutrition Status of mass people during lockdown for pandemic Covid-19 by collecting data from 37 districts across the country.
Future outlook and recommendations
As an organization, we decide to continue Covid 19 response awareness activities apart from our regular interventions. We are planning to continue the current activities for example, 2000 more farmers are planned to receive COVID related messages by August 2020.