CARE joins Hygiene and Behaviour Change Coalition

London, November 2020 - CARE has joined the HBCC (Hygiene and Behaviour Change Coalition) led by Unilever and FCDO to tackle the spread of Covid-19 through behaviour change in Rwanda, Zimbabwe, Somalia, North East Syria and Jordan.

Covid-19 is causing devastation in many of the world’s poorest countries where millions live with poor sanitation facilities and overcrowding and are less resilient to crises. In response, the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office and Unilever are jointly providing financial and material support to NGO and UN partners, including CARE, to prevent the spread of the virus and protect those most severely affected.

The FCDO have contributed £50 million with Unilever contributing £50m of hygiene products to fund the work of HBCC partners in tackling Covid-19 in low- and middle-income countries. Its aim is to minimise both the spread and impact of COVID-19 through mass media, digital communications and community training that improves personal and environmental hygiene practices, as well as reducing stigma and discrimination.

Justin Dell, CARE’s HBCC Programme Manager says, “CARE is pleased to be working with the FCDO and Unilever to deliver life-saving work in response to the Covid-19 crisis. Funding from HBCC is enabling communities to face down the challenges of Covid-19, through learning about the risks and how to adopt new behaviours to minimise them. CARE is providing essential public information and community training as well as increasing access to hand-washing facilities and soap, saving lives and livelihoods in five at-risk countries.”

 “CARE’s work includes tackling stigma, which is preventing people from seeking the medical care they need, as well as causing people to be needlessly ostracised in their communities through fear and misinformation about how and when the virus is spread. We are also responding specifically to the needs of women and girls, as informed by a range of studies analysing the gender differences in impact and need.”

CARE is among a range of NGO partners who make up the HBCC coalition, which will be working across multiple countries using mass and digital communication channels to raise awareness of the virus, distributing essential hygiene products donated by Unilever such as soap and surface cleaners, and working with communities to embed long-term hygiene behaviour change.

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