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Responses to COVID-19 promoting resilience to climate change

COVID-19 & climate crisis both are rapidly producing further disaster to become more complex and deadly. The Indian State of Odisha, considered as one of the backward states in human development index, has been grossly impacted by COVID-19 & recurrent climate crisis.

The solution lies in prevention followed by protection and provision – increasing readiness to address the coronavirus crises and reducing the impacts of future climate risks & disasters. Looking at COVID-19 and current vulnerabilities, there is a dire need for short- and long-term actions to promote sustainable, resilient communities that can cope with the forthcoming climate crisis. 

To enable this, there is an urgent need for more funds to be focused on managing and developing resilience in the face of the COVID-19 and climate change crisis.What could these solutions look like?

The following interventions are needed now & beyond COVID-19 for returning migrants, stranded labours, women, children, disabilities, wage earners, daily labourers, slum dwellers to address hunger, save lives & support the rebuilding of livelihoods. There are three major pathways to make communities resilient now & as we look beyond COVID-19:

  1. Humanitarianresponse to support returned migrants, stranded labours on COVID19 Pandemic. Actions include the provision of food & nutrition kits, hygiene  kits, school/learning kits for children, preventive/protective kit for front line workers, agricultural kits (including plant seeds, micro-nutrients and minerals), setting up call centres for information education and communication (IEC), promoting employable skill-building initiatives and enabling area sanitization by drone.
  2. Buildingcommunityassets &promotion of ecosystem-based, climate change resilient, integrated community livelihood models that promote food and water security, sustainable culture and lifestyle, nature, nutrition, hygiene, sanitation, education on environment, circular economy, green energy & low carbon development strategies, technology transfer  & familiarisation of the sustainable food system as part of innovation.      
  3. Creating an enablingenvironment &setting up an institutional process for learning, management and sustainability that includes community institution building, knowledge transformation, scaling up call centres (resource hubs) & information and communications technology, employable skill-building for women, youth inclusion, supporting farmers and producers to improve food processing, value addition, and marketing, and promoting ‘eco-prenures’ and social enterprises.

This COVID-19 pandemic crisis presents us with a huge opportunity to rethink the way we work, educate our children, and even our cultural customs,and to realign these towards social, economic, and environmental sustainability. The scale of the disaster requires new ways of working, and innovative partnerships to ensure interventions go to scale and support efforts to prevent transmission, promote positive transformation where the impact will be greatest, and ensure that efforts to combat the climate crisis puts people first. Certainly, these contributions will add value to achieving the SDGs & sustainability more broadly.

UDYAMA is working hard to deliver such initiatives in Odisha. For more information, please email [email protected], mobile/WhatsApp:+919437110892, landline:+916742475656, or visit our webpage:

What are others planning in response to COVID elsewhere that also promotes resilience to climate change?

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