With influx of returning migrant workers, Mon State, being close to the Thai border, remains at high risk of COVID-19 infection and outbreak. While many of these returning workers are from the state, it also serves as the transit point for returning migrant workers from other states and regions. Therefore, mitigating the risk of virus infection while enforcing preventive measures among citizens has become a priority for regional authorities.
In collaboration with the Mon State Government, United Nation Development Programme (UNDP) has been implementing a five-day awareness raising campaign starting from 8th June, providing face masks and immediate hygienic supplies. In addition, information, education and communication (IEC) materials from Ministry of health and Sports are distributed in four languages – Myanmar, Mon, Kayin and Pa-O. All these materials are being distributed in 200 locations in all 10 townships across the state. These locations include crowded places such as markets, border areas, areas where large number of migrant workers live etc.
Led and coordinated by the UNDP in support of the state government’s efforts, a large number of organizations have joined hands for this the five-day campaign. These include UN agencies such as UNICEF, UN Women and UNFPA, international non-governmental organizations such as Helvetas , and also many local civil society organizations ( CSOs) . Nearly 300 local volunteers from CSOs actively involve in distributing materials and raising awareness on the importance of hand washing, social distancing , and how to wear face masks.
The UNDP-led, five-day campaign has begun on 8th June and will continue till 12th June, reaching out to more than 50,000 households in the state, with special focus on vulnerable and at-risk groups. The campaign serves as a success story, highlighting effective coordination among the state government, international development organizations, local CSOs and volunteers, as they come together to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.