Call for NGOs to be declared an essential service in the fight against COVID – 19

It is imperative that the Zimbabwean government opens up working space for NGOs, CBOs and CSOs operating space in the ensuing lockdown. This is because a vast amount of NGO work will complement government efforts to alleviate societal challenges emanating from the lockdown. A bold declaration on the government’s part will buffer up civic engagements on the aspects of information dissemination, humanitarian aid assistance and support for marginalised communities and households. What is needed is a thorough concerted and collaborative approach to holistic needs of our communities in these trying times.

At the time of issuance of this statement, civic engagement and efforts are threatened by mulled censorship and information containment poised by the Zimbabwean government. This threatens the potential of civic players to help in the fight against COVID – 19. Mobilisation of resources for any effort requires a bit of movement, limited restrictions and an enabling environment.

It would really help the fight of civic voices and actions were declared an essential service forthwith so as to allow them discretion to safely and freely engage beneficiary communities.

Source: Darlington Mafa, Communications Intern, Rima Africa Trust