Mujeres, Género y Acción Climática

Día Internacional de la Mujer – 8 de marzo de 2022

El Día Internacional de la Mujer, 8 de marzo, es una oportunidad para reflexionar sobre los avances y brechas en términos de equidad de género y conmemorar el liderazgo de mujeres, niñas y adolescentes brindando soluciones para abordar problemas globales, incluido el cambio climático dentro de los programas de RET. El tema de la ONU 2022 se centra en “La igualdad de género hoy para un mañana sostenible”. Según la ONU, “El año 2022 es fundamental para lograr la igualdad de género en el contexto del cambio climático y la reducción del riesgo ambiental y de desastres, que son algunos de los mayores desafíos globales del siglo XXI. Sin igualdad de género hoy, un futuro sostenible y un futuro igualitario está fuera de nuestro alcance”.

Igualdad de Género

La igualdad y la no discriminación son principios fundamentales de la Carta de las Naciones Unidas, adoptada por los líderes mundiales en 1945. Sin embargo, “millones de mujeres, mujeres jóvenes, grupos minoritarios y personas de diversas identidades de género en todo el mundo continúan sufriendo discriminación en el disfrute de los derechos civiles, culturales, económicos, políticos y sociales. Además, muchas mujeres enfrentan formas múltiples de discriminación, debido a factores como su edad, raza, etnia, discapacidad o estatus socioeconómico, además de la discriminación basada en el género”.

Aunque las niñas y los niños enfrentan desafíos similares en la primera infancia, las disparidades de género se vuelven más pronunciadas en la adolescencia (10 a 19 años de edad), un período crucial en el que se desarrollan las actitudes de los niños y las niñas sobre el género y se consolidan las normas de género. Debido a los roles de género esperados, las adolescentes también pueden enfrentar una carga desproporcionada de trabajo doméstico, riesgos de matrimonio y embarazo precoces, y violencia sexual y de género. Las mujeres de hoy enfrentan barreras sociales, económicas y políticas junto con un acceso desigual a los recursos y procesos de toma de decisiones.

Según RET, la igualdad de género significa que las mujeres y los hombres de todas las edades e independientemente de su orientación sexual tienen las mismas condiciones para ejercer plenamente sus derechos humanos y contribuir y beneficiarse del desarrollo económico, social, cultural y político y la toma de decisiones. RET considera el impacto de las normas sociales y de género en todos sus proyectos. Las intervenciones de RET atraviesan el triple nexo, apoyando la igualdad y la inclusión de mujeres, niñas y adolescentes (centrándose en refugiados, migrantes y retornados) en la sociedad y la economía para ayudarlas a liderar su viaje de autosuficiencia y desarrollar su resiliencia. RET también está totalmente comprometida a apoyar el Objetivo de Desarrollo Sostenible SDG5: “Lograr la igualdad de género y empoderar a todas las mujeres y niñas”, para garantizar que las mujeres, niñas y adolescentes, tengan igualdad de acceso a la educación, la atención médica, el trabajo digno y la representación en procesos de toma de decisiones políticas y económicas, particularmente en tiempos de crisis y contextos frágiles.

Género y Acción Climática

El cambio climático se siente principalmente a través de amenazas naturales y afecta a muchos sectores, incluidos la agricultura, la seguridad alimentaria, la salud e incluso los patrones migratorios. Tanto las mujeres como los hombres que dependen de los recursos naturales para su sustento, como la agricultura, probablemente se vean afectados por el cambio climático. Sin embargo, el impacto no es el mismo en ambos, y la vulnerabilidad de las mujeres se deriva de varios factores: sociales, económicos y culturales. Avanzar en la igualdad de género en el contexto de las crisis climáticas y la reducción del riesgo de desastres (Preparación y Mitigación) es uno de los desafíos globales más importantes del siglo XXI , el cual RET está asumiendo.

RET ha trabajado activamente para abordar las necesidades específicas e inmediatas de las mujeres y los jóvenes al mismo tiempo que aborda los problemas más amplios que impiden la igualdad de género dentro de cada contexto. Dado que RET funciona principalmente en contextos frágiles y de emergencia, ha recopilado evidencia de primera mano de que los conflictos y el cambio climático afectan a hombres y mujeres de manera diferente, y esas disparidades de género a menudo se exacerban. Tanto la protección como el riesgo de subsistencia para las niñas y mujeres jóvenes aumentan en tales contextos; el cambio climático afecta los medios de subsistencia específicos de mujeres que dependen de los recursos naturales en las zonas rurales. En respuesta, RET promueve la igualdad a través de estrategias sensibles al género para responder a las crisis ambientales y humanitarias causadas por el cambio climático y los conflictos.

Dentro de sus proyectos actuales en las Américas, África y Medio Oriente, compartimos algunos datos sobre nuestras intervenciones y compromiso con la adaptación climática en 2022:

  • RET está promoviendo medidas agrícolas a corto y mediano plazo para revivir las áreas rurales que se satisfagan las necesidades de refugiados/agricultores locales más empobrecidos, especialmente los hogares encabezados por mujeres.
  • RET está aumentando la capacidad de adaptación y la resiliencia, especialmente de las mujeres, para reducir la vulnerabilidad de las personas ante los impactos del cambio climático y los riesgos relacionados con el clima.
  • RET está desarrollando la capacidad de adaptación de las y los agricultores, especialmente de las mujeres (refugiadas y anfitrionas), para impulsar la economía local y crear empleo y oportunidades de generación de ingresos.
  • RET está reduciendo el impacto del cambio climático en la producción agrícola, aquellos que afectan los medios de vida de las poblaciones que dependen de la agricultura, especialmente las mujeres.
  • RET está reduciendo el manejo inadecuado de plagas/enfermedades del agua y las plantas, ya que representa una limitación importante para estabilizar y aumentar la producción agrícola, vinculada a la intensificación de la variabilidad y el cambio climático estacional e interanual. RET está fortaleciendo la investigación relacionada con la adaptación, incluido el monitoreo y pronóstico meteorológico e hidrológico, incluidos los sistemas de alerta temprana, etc.
  • RET participa en la promoción de métodos de riego ahorradores de agua para resistir al cambio climático;
  • RET está avanzando en la promoción de buenas prácticas de pesca para adaptarse a los cambios en las poblaciones y las especies de peces, e introduciendo más flexibilidad en el equipo y las técnicas utilizadas, incluida la capacitación de mujeres en la preparación del pescado.

Disaster Risk Reduction

RET está incorporando enfoques de resiliencia que abordan los riesgos climáticos y de desastres en el contexto de múltiples proyectos, con el objetivo de integrar el clima y la Reducción del Riesgo de Desastres (RRD) como elementos integrales en todos los proyectos de RET a medida que avanzamos.

A través de una variedad de enfoques, RET reduce la cantidad de vidas y medios de vida perdidos o afectados negativamente durante un desastre y ayuda a capacitar y empoderar a los jóvenes, especialmente a las mujeres, para que sean más resilientes a futuras crisis.

Los programas de RET tienen como objetivo ayudar a las poblaciones vulnerables a anticipar y prepararse para los desastres en el sistema educativo, a nivel comunitario y nacional, a través de enfoques participativos y basados ​​en la comunidad. RET interviene en entornos afectados por desastres y emergencias para mitigar el impacto de los desastres y garantizar que los más vulnerables, especialmente las mujeres jóvenes y las Personas con Discapacidad (PcD), tengan acceso a los servicios de protección y se adapten a las oportunidades educativas y los entornos de aprendizaje. Además, RET cuenta con programas de RRD para reforzar las capacidades de preparación y mitigación de los actores, familias y comunidades nacionales y locales en caso de desastre, con un fuerte enfoque en la participación activa de los grupos vulnerables, especialmente las mujeres, a lo largo de todo el proceso.

RET integra un enfoque interseccional para abordar las necesidades de las poblaciones más vulnerables para comprender cómo interactúan las diferentes capas de vulnerabilidad entre las poblaciones en riesgo, incluidas las vulnerabilidades de género. RET ha incorporado Soluciones basadas en la Naturaleza (SbN) en su estrategia de Reducción del Riesgo de Desastres (RRD) para desarrollar la resiliencia climática y la autosuficiencia; fortalecer la producción comunitaria de alimentos; promover dietas basadas en plantas e iniciativas de ecoeficiencia; para ayudar a reducir los riesgos y, al mismo tiempo, apoyar los medios de subsistencia. Las soluciones basadas en la naturaleza (SbN) se centran en gestionar o restaurar un ecosistema que aborde los desafíos sociales, como el riesgo de desastres, el cambio climático, la seguridad alimentaria, la seguridad del agua y la salud humana. Aborda los tres componentes de la ecuación del riesgo: prevenir o mitigar los peligros, limitar la exposición de las personas a los peligros y limitar su vulnerabilidad.

La respuesta de RET se fortalece a través de una asociación activa en múltiples redes y grupos intersectoriales que promueven la resiliencia inclusiva ante los desastres y el cambio climático, incluido el Grupo de Educación de las Naciones Unidas, la Red LAC para la Inclusión de la Discapacidad en la RRD (GIRDD LACRed de Gestión Inclusiva del Riesgo de Desastres y Discapacidad), GNDR (Red Global de Organizaciones de la Sociedad Civil para la Reducción de Desastres), GADRRRES (Alianza Global para la Reducción del Riesgo de Desastres y la Resiliencia en el Sector Educativo) y la plataforma regional PEDRR para América Latina y el Caribe (Alianza para el Medio Ambiente y la Reducción del Riesgo de Desastres).

[English]

Women, Gender, and Climate Actions

The International Women’s Day – March 8, 2022

The International Women’s Day, March 8, is an opportunity to reflect on the advances and gaps in gender equity and commemorate how women and girls are leading the solutions to address global problems, including climate change within RET’s programs. The UN 2022 theme focuses on “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow.”  According to the UN, “the year 2022 is pivotal for achieving gender equality in the context of climate change and environmental and disaster risk reduction, which are some of the greatest global challenges of the twenty-first century. Without gender equality today, a sustainable future and an equal future remains beyond our reach.”

Gender Equality 
Equality and non-discrimination are fundamental principles of the United Nations Charter, adopted by world leaders in 1945. Yet, “millions of women, young women, minority groups, and people of diverse gender identities worldwide continue to experience discrimination in the enjoyment of civil, cultural, economic, political, and social rights. Moreover, many women face compounded forms of discrimination—due to factors such as their age, race, ethnicity, disability, or socioeconomic status, in addition to gender-based discrimination.”

Though girls and boys face similar challenges in early childhood, gender disparities become more pronounced in adolescence (10-19 years of age), a crucial period when boys’ and girls’ attitudes about gender develop and gender norms consolidate. Due to expected gender roles, adolescent girls may also face a disproportionate burden of domestic work, risks of early marriage and early pregnancy, and sexual and gender-based violence. Women today face social, economic, and political barriers coupled with unequal access to resources and decision-making processes.

According to RET, gender equality means women and men of all ages and regardless of sexual orientation have equal conditions for realizing their full human rights and contributing to and benefiting from economic, social, cultural, and political development and decision-making.  RET considers the impact of gender and social norms throughout all its projects. RET’s interventions work across the triple nexus, supporting equality and inclusion of women and young girls (focusing on refugees, migrants, and returnees) in society and the economy to help them lead their self-reliance journey and build their resilience. RET is also fully committed to supporting the Sustainable Development Goal SDG5: “To Achieve Gender Equality and Empower All Women and Girls,” to ensure women and girls have equal access to education, health care, decent work, and representation in political and economic decision-making processes, particularly during times of crisis and fragile contexts.

Gender and Climate Actions
Climate change is felt through primarily natural hazards and affects many sectors, including agriculture, food security, health, and even migration patterns. Both women and men relying on natural resources for their livelihoods, such as agriculture, are likely affected by climate change. However, the impact is not the same on both, and women’s vulnerability stems from several factors – social, economic, and cultural. Advancing gender equality in the context of climate crises and disaster risk reduction (Preparedness and Mitigation) is one of the most significant global challenges of the 21st century that RET is currently undertaking. 

RET has actively worked to address women and young people’s specific and immediate needs while addressing the broader issues preventing gender equality within each given context. Given that RET works primarily in emergency and fragile contexts, it has gathered first-hand evidence that conflict and climate change affect males and females differently, and those gender disparities are often exacerbated. Both protection and livelihoods risk for girls and young women increase in such contexts; climate change affects the livelihoods of specifical women dependent on natural resources in rural areas. In response, RET actualizes equality through gender-sensitive strategies to respond to the environmental and humanitarian crises caused by climate change and conflicts. 

Within its current projects in Africa, the Middle East, and the Americas, here are some facts about our interventions and commitment to climate adaptation in 2022:

  • RET is promoting short and medium-term agriculture measures to revive rural areas that directly target the needs of the poorest refugees/local farmers, especially female-headed households.
  • RET is increasing adaptive capacity and resilience to reduce people’s vulnerability, especially women, to the impacts of climate change and climate-related risks.
  • RET is building farmers’ adaptive capacity, especially women (refugees and host), to boost the local economy and create employment and income-generating opportunities. 
  • RET is reducing the impact of climate change on agriculture production, affecting the livelihoods of populations depending on agriculture, especially women.
  • RET is reducing Inadequate water and plant pest/disease management representing a significant constraint to stabilize and increase agricultural production linked to intensified seasonal and inter-annual climate variability and change. RET is strengthening the adaptation-related research, including meteorological and hydrological monitoring and forecasting, including early warning systems, etc.
  • RET is taking part in promoting water-saving irrigation methods to withstand climate change;
  • RET is advancing the promotion of modified fishing practices to adapt to stock changes and fished species and introducing more flexibility in the equipment and techniques used, including enabling and training vulnerable women on fish preparation.

Disaster Risk Reduction – The Americas
RET is mainstreaming resilience approaches that address disaster and climate risks within the context of multiple projects, aiming to integrate climate and Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) as integral elements in all RET projects as we move forward. 

Through a range of approaches, RET reduces the number of lives and livelihoods lost or adversely affected during a disaster and helps capacitate and empower young people, especially women, to become more resilient to future crises. RET’s programs aim to help vulnerable populations anticipate and prepare for disasters in the education system and at the community and national levels through participatory and community-based approaches. RET intervenes in disaster and emergency-affected environments to mitigate the impact of disasters and ensure the most vulnerable, especially young women and People with Disabilities (PwD), have access to protection services and adapt to educational opportunities and learning environments. Moreover, RET has DRR programs to reinforce the preparedness and mitigation capacities of national and local stakeholders, families, and communities in the event of a disaster, with a strong focus on the active participation of vulnerable groups, especially women, throughout the whole process.

Recently, RET has been integrating an intersectional approach to address the needs of the most vulnerable populations to understand how the different layers of vulnerability interact between at-risk populations, including gender vulnerabilities. RET has been incorporating Nature-based Solutions (NbS) in its Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) strategy to build climate resilience and self-sufficiency; strengthen community food production; promote plant-based diets and Eco-efficiency initiatives; to help reduce risks while simultaneously support livelihoods.  Nature-based Solutions (NbS) focus on managing or restoring an ecosystem that addresses societal challenges, such as disaster risk, climate change, food security, water security, and human health. It addresses all three components of the risk equation – preventing or mitigating hazards, limiting people’s exposure to hazards, and limiting their vulnerability.

RET’s response is strengthened through active partnership in many inter-sectoral networks and clusters promoting inclusive disaster and climate resilience, including the UN Educational Cluster, the LAC Network for Disability Inclusion in DRR (GIRDD LACRed de Gestion Inclusiva del Riesgo de Desastres y Discapacidad), GNDR (Global Network of Civil Society Organizations for Disaster Reduction), GADRRRES (Global Alliance for Disaster Risk Reduction and Resilience in the Education Sector) and the regional PEDRR platform for Latin America and the Caribbean (Partnership for Environment and Disaster Risk Reduction.)

La historia de Beyciveck: puentes para sanar, aprender y brillar para niñas, niños, adolescentes y jóvenes refugiados venezolanos.

Artículo en RET INT:
https://www.theret.org/beycivecks-story-bridges-to-heal-learn-and-shine-for-children-and-young-venezuelan-refugees
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El 20 de Junio se conmemora el Día Mundial de los Refugiados. Este año, el tema se centró en el poder de la inclusión y la importancia de trabajar juntos y juntas para recuperarnos de la crisis de salud actual: “Juntos nos cuidamos, aprendemos y brillamos”.

En el contexto de la COVID-19, los niños, niñas, adolescentes y jóvenes refugiados se enfrentan a adversidades recurrentes. La educación es una herramienta clave para brindarles un sentido de normalidad, un espacio seguro y una oportunidad para prosperar.

Hoy compartimos la historia de Beyciveck, una adolescente venezolana que participó en el programa de educación a distancia llamado “Aprendiendo Unidos”, implementado por RET en 2020, con el generoso apoyo de Education Cannot Wait.

Beyciveck, de 15 años, llegó a Perú en 2019. No pudo reanudar su educación e inscribirse en la escuela durante ese año porque su familia enfrentaba dificultades económicas. A principios de 2020, estaba esperando con mucho entusiasmo que comenzara el nuevo año escolar e incluso comenzó a jugar al rugby con un grupo de adolescentes refugiados y de la comunidad de acogida. “Me gustan todos los deportes… me gusta jugar y divertirme”, nos comenta.

Cuando la pandemia por COVID-19 llegó, el gobierno de Perú declaró el estado de emergencia nacional y restringió la movilidad de la población, posponiendo las clases presenciales. En paralelo, el Ministerio de Educación implementó una estrategia alternativa nacional para facilitar el acceso a la educación a través de un programa complementario de educación a distancia, “Aprendo en casa”. El programa incluyó materiales de e-learning y sesiones educativas en televisión y radio, con sesiones de consulta a través de grupos de chat para orientar a los estudiantes.

Aún así, muchas personas migrantes y familias de refugiados experimentaron dificultades para acceder a las plataformas propuestas en línea debido a dificultades económicas, falta de Internet y dispositivos. Muchas de las familias tenían solo un teléfono móvil o un televisor para que lo usara toda la familia.

La pandemia por COVID-19, junto con múltiples adversidades, incrementó el riesgo de deserción de las y los estudiantes. En este contexto, RET respondió adaptando la estrategia y las actividades de sus proyectos para reducir las brechas de necesidades de los estudiantes y sus familias durante la crisis y facilitó su acceso a oportunidades de educación virtual.

Beyciveck fue una de las y los estudiantes que se inscribieron en el programa virtual “Aprendiendo Unidos” implementado por RET en asociación con UNICEF, UNESCO y Plan International. Recibió catorce (14) sesiones de e-learning en matemáticas mientras fortalecía sus habilidades socioemocionales con el apoyo y orientación de un tutor especializado. Beyciveck usó activa y eficientemente la plataforma virtual y accedió a todos los recursos a través del teléfono inteligente de su madre y/o la computadora de su prima.

“El programa virtual Aprendiendo Unidos ha sido una gran herramienta para mí. Aprendí cosas nuevas en el Perú que no conocía. Es fundamental para cualquier niño, niña, adolescente y hasta para cualquier adulto educarse para así alcanzar sus metas en la vida. Quiero ser ingeniera industrial en el futuro, como mi hermano ”, comentó Beyciveck.

La historia de Beyciveck es una de las 1.300 historias de niños, niñas y adolescentes que participaron en el proyecto “Manteniendo la educación accesible para migrantes, refugiados y comunidades de acogida venezolanos durante los tiempos COVID-19 en Perú”, implementado por RET en alianza con el fondo global Education Cannot Wait.

Desde el año 2000, RET ha estado con refugiados y comunidades vulnerables en más de 30 países en todo el mundo. El testimonio de Beyciveck es testimonio de la resiliencia de los jóvenes refugiados y del papel positivo que juega RET en sus vidas

RET hace un agradecimiento especial a Education Cannot Wait por su continuo apoyo y respuesta a las necesidades de los refugiados y solicitantes de asilo venezolanos en América Latina y el Caribe.

[English]

Beyciveck’s Story: bridges to heal, learn and shine for children and young Venezuelan refugees.

RET INT article:
https://www.theret.org/beycivecks-story-bridges-to-heal-learn-and-shine-for-children-and-young-venezuelan-refugees

20th June is the commemoration of World Refugee Day. This year, the theme focused on the power of inclusion and the importance of working together to recover from the pandemic: “Together We Heal, Learn and Shine.”

In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, children and young refugees are facing recurrent adversities. Education is a key tool to provide them with a sense of normalcy, a safe space, and an opportunity to thrive.

Today we share the story of Beyciveck, a Venezuelan adolescent who participated in a distance learning program called “Learning Together,” implemented by RET in 2020, with the generous support of Education Cannot Wait.

Beyciveck, 15 years old, arrived in Peru in 2019. She couldn’t resume her education and enroll in school during that year as her family was facing economic hardships. Beginning of 2020, she was eagerly waiting for the new school year to start, and even began playing rugby with a group of refugees and host community adolescents. “I like all kind of sports… I like to play and have fun”, she says.

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit. The government of Peru declared a state of national emergency and restricted the mobility of the population, postponing the academic year to 2021. The Ministry of Education implemented a national alternative strategy to facilitate access to education during COVID-19 through a complementary distance learning program, “I Learn at Home.” The program included e-learning materials and educational sessions on TV and radio, with consultation sessions through chat groups to guide and mentor the students.

Still, many migrants and refugee families experienced difficulties accessing the proposed platforms online due to economic difficulties, lack of internet and equipment. Many of the families had only one mobile phone and or TV for the entire family to use.

The COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with multiple adversities, increased the risk of students drop-out. Therefore, RET responded by adapting its project strategy and activities to fill the needs gaps of students and their families during the pandemic and facilitated their access to virtual education opportunities.

Beyciveck was one of the students who enrolled in the  “Learning together” virtual program implemented by RET in partnership with UNICEF, UNESCO, and Plan International. She received fourteen (14) e-learning sessions in mathematics while strengthening her socio-emotional skills with the support and orientation of a specialized tutor. Beyciveck actively and efficiently used the virtual platform and accessed all the resources through her mother’s smartphone and/or her cousin’s computer.

“The virtual program “Learning Together” has been a great tool for me. I learned new things in Peru that I did not know. It is crucial for any child, adolescent, and even any adult to learn to achieve their goals in life. I want to be an industrial engineer in the future, like my brother”, commented Beyciveck.

The Story of Beyciveck is one of 1,300 children and adolescents who participated in the “Keeping education accessible to Venezuelan migrants, refugees and host communities during the COVID-19 times in Peru” project, implemented by RET in partnership with the global fund Education Cannot Wait.  Since 2000, RET has been standing with refugees and vulnerable communities in more than 30 countries worldwide. Beyciveck’s testimony stands witness to young refugees’ resilience and the positive role RET plays in their lives.

RET would like to thank Education Cannot Wait for its continuous support and response to the needs of Venezuelan refugees and asylum seekers in Latin America and the Caribbean.

RET’s COVID-19 Regional Response in Latin America and the Caribbean

RET has been present in the Latin America and the Caribbean region, since 2004, and has directly supported more than 717,000 direct project participants, and indirectly benefitted 3.6 Mio beneficiaries throughout 179 projects implemented predominantly in Belize, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico, Panama, and Peru. The COVID-19 pandemic is overstretching healthcare systems and restricting access to basic needs, education, and livelihoods. Countries with pre-existing humanitarian needs, in fragile contexts, and protracted crises are the most affected, including the refugees, migrants and the vulnerable host communities. Due to restricted mobility, the poor living & working conditions where many vulnerable people depend on insufficient daily wages to cover basic needs such as shelter, food, and health care, refugee and migrants especially are becoming more susceptible to the deteriorating impact of COVID-19 and are also at risk of being stigmatized. This pandemic is aggravating the socio-economic unrest, leading to additional violence, conflicts, and the weakening of already fragile environments.

How is RET Staying & Delivering
RET has been conducting multiple needs assessment to understand the impact of this crisis on the most vulnerable in every country of operation, including the deteriorating effects on refugees and migrants. RET has been gathering information and timely data to adapt and respond through innovative urgent actions to mitigate the existing and additional protection risks of vulnerable people assisted through ongoing operations. RET’s response in LAC prioritized refugees’ and migrants’ particular needs in the areas of Protection, Shelter, WASH, Food Security, Livelihoods and, Social Integration through targeted and tailor-made interventions to complement the national authorities’ response.

RET has been coordinating its responses with grassroots organizations, Civil Society Organizations (CSO’s), and international partners to prioritize essential protection and pre-existing life-saving needs to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on the most affected communities, and has been taking part in promoting the inclusion of refugees and migrants in national programs. 

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Awareness & Prevention
While maintaining physical distancing measures, RET is implementing many prevention and response activities in countries of operation where refugees and migrants from Venezuela are hosted. These activities include providing access to reliable information on preventive measures, combatting misinformation and stigmatization, provision of hygiene kits, and soap, strengthening of community preventive health mechanisms through virtual workshops for key people at the community levels on preventive measures, response, and isolation mechanisms; access to safety equipment for health personnel; strengthening referral and follow-up mechanisms for COVID-19 cases in health centers at the local level and the delivery of sexual and reproductive health kits (condoms, flashlight, prevention information) and of PEP kits to health centers.

Protection (Women and Child)
RET is ensuring the protection services provided to the affected people are not interrupted, and assuming its current role in providing access to social safety nets and basic assistance to women and children through the use of technology to protect and assist refugees, internally displaced people, migrants and host communities particularly vulnerable to the pandemic. Key protection activities, such as individual protection assistance, case management, legal counseling, and individual psychosocial support, continue to be delivered via phone and WhatsApp chats, ensuring the well-being and mental health of the most vulnerable. 

RET is actively taking part in the protection of women and girls and in promoting their rights and safety through awareness campaigns and protective networks to provide sexual and reproductive health care and gender-based violence assistance. RET has established virtual support groups and a follow-up mechanism to assist vulnerable women at risk of Gender-based violence and survivors of #GBV. 

Food Security -Shelter Cash Assistance
RET has reviewed all evaluation tools to characterize new families affected by COVID 19 and applied means of verification to assist the most vulnerable. To bridge the food security gap, RET has been providing “Food Baskets” and “multi-purpose vouchers” to the most vulnerable people registered within our programs in coordination with local supermarkets. Also, RET has been providing multi-purpose cash transfers for the most vulnerable families whose livelihoods have been affected by COVID-19 and enabling all-cash voucher programs available in each country (conditional and multi-purpose cash) for the purchase of food, shelter and hygiene products (including gloves and soap). RET has been supporting food entrepreneurs and small marked oriented businesses with the purchase of food and its distribution in line with the regulations per country in coordination with relief entities and volunteers. RET has also been identifying shelters and coordinating with international and local partners to support people in shelters. 

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WASH
RET has been providing the most vulnerable refugees and migrants with hygiene kits (soap, anti-bacterial gel, gloves, mask, alcohol) as well as providing cleaning kits and safety equipment for workers at health centers and hospitals. In addition to providing traditional water filters in communities with weak infrastructure, and conducting virtual training on handwashing, use of security equipment and on hygiene recommendations in work, home, and school environments. RET has been conducting assessments of water systems, and subsequent definition of a plan of action for the corrective maintenance of hygiene facilities (in communities and schools).

EDUCATION
RET has been redesigning ad re-orienting its efforts in line with local needs and in coordination with host government’s policies at the local level to provide innovative solutions to remote learning through redesigning all its formal and informal education programs to provide access to alternative distance learning programs. With 20 years of experience in education, particularly in “Education in Emergencies (EiE),” RET is providing tailor-made solutions at the local level to bridge the educational gaps, in the broadest sense of vulnerable people. RET has been revising its entire education toolbox and is currently implementing actions to allow the continuity of the teaching-learning processes, also, strengthening of capacities on distance education models to facilitate the return to classes and maintain quality education.

RET’s latest actions in education focused on supporting the host governments with their COVID19 prevention campaigns, addressing children, parents, and caregivers and promoting non-formal digital education programs and virtual educational platforms established by the host governments; strengthening of alternative virtual education spaces; developing guides for caregivers with activities and educational processes; launching plans for the inclusion of migrant and refugee children in the educational system; supporting the access of students to connectivity, computers, laptops, tablets or smart-phones; in addition to supporting vulnerable students with internet data fees and or access. 

PER_PRM_20_EMERGENCYRESPONSE_IMG-20200515Social integration and Livelihoods.
The social impact of the COVID 19 outbreak can already be visible in many countries in LAC with a high number of refugees, migrants, and displaced people through the decrease of cohesion, a greater potential for conflict, and deepening inequalities. 

RET’s responses are being oriented to address the indirect effect of COVID-19 on social cohesion and integration in Latin America and the Caribbean; including addressing the risks of violence, discrimination, marginalization, and xenophobia towards the most vulnerable, especially the Venezuelan refugees through virtual tools such as webinars, Social networks, virtual social cohesion activities and interactive sessions at the community level. As part of its livelihood programs, RET is providing online support to increase the employability profiles of vulnerable people. (CV & job applications), along with tackling youth protection and mental health through social media awareness campaigns about health, education, housing, and work, in times of COVID-19.

During these challenging COVID19 times and in only three months, RET provided assistance and support to almost 18,000 refugees, migrants, and vulnerable people from the host community in Latin America and the Caribbean region alone. This is how the RET team is #Staying&Delivering.

RET is adopting an inclusive, multi-sectoral approach to alleviate the suffering and develop the resilience of the most affected, with particular attention to children, youth, and young women. RET will continue to provide its existing humanitarian, peace, development assistance while expanding its existent multi-sectoral response to address the new vulnerabilities in terms of COVID-19.  While RET hires 100% local staff, in most countries, and can, therefore, stay on the ground, and continue its programs uninterrupted during any crises. RET’s international management team are usually based in regional and headquarters office, and travel for technical capacity-building purposes, which during COVID-19, is happening online and through videoconferencing.

The battle is not yet over; we appeal to all governments, donors, and partners to maintain their support to RET programs around the world and to foster our multi-sectoral response to assist the most vulnerable. With international solidarity, we will mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on the most affected, during, and following this emergency.

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