IRIS NETWORK NEWSLETTER – JANUARY – JUNE 2020
COVID REACTION STORIES
In spite of the global scale, severity, and widespread uncertainty of the coronavirus outbreak, which hindered the efforts of the Iris Network and its members, the Network has been regularly following the activities of its members, especially their responses throughout the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
One of the lessons learned in the face of the pandemic was that the ability to react promptly and tackle the new challenges in an innovative way have been pivotal in surpassing the crisis. For that reason, the January – June Edition of the Newsletter features the stories of the Network members, in which they shared how they managed to adapt their activities to the new reality.
Along the same lines, the Iris Network conducted a survey among its members and based on the thorough analysis of their responses complied a Report on Social Services during Coronavirus Pandemic in Western Balkan Countries (link).
Members of the Network reported that they have not been included by local governments to participate, discuss and create adequate responses and policies pertaining to the protection of rights of vulnerable categories during COVID-19. Likewise, IRIS Network members indicated that only a few local authorities have implemented measures in order to maintain current social services, support them and mitigate the critical situation. More so, sources of funding constitute by far the greatest challenge in the current situation, while majority of the survey participants expressed their concern regarding future sources of funding and declared that their expectations lay within the pool of international donors.