When the COVID-19 pandemic began, HelpAge International was classified as a first responder by the government of Jordan, recognised as the sole organisation focused on older people.
Older men and women faced exceptionally difficult circumstances during the lockdown in Jordan. They were banned from leaving their homes even for the small periods of time permitted time to obtain groceries and other essentials, due to their age and perceived vulnerability.
HelpAge Jordan designed a programme to support and protect older people based on the HRP strategic priority: Protect, Assist, and Advocate. This project was supported by the Basic Needs Cluster and the Ministry of Planning and Jordanian Emergency Response.
HelpAge partnered with local organisations and communities to strengthen prevention and protection response for the most at risk older people. They worked with local communities to ensure that food and medicines were delivered to those in need. They provided weekly remote outreach to 2,200 older people and delivered hygiene kits for preventative purposes to 2,600 older men and women. 400 of the most at risk also received cash assistance.
Hadeh Al Kafalat, 65 said:
“During the quarantine, you were the reason we felt safe. We, the older people, are the most vulnerable group of people. So, I was waiting for your advice and my heart was reassured. You had a clear impact on us, because you were the first institution that give us as older people this kind of special care.”
Salem Thyab Al Salaimeh, 73 said:
“I am 73 years old, my mother is 110 years old and my siblings are also all above the age of 60. During all those years that have passed, this was the first time any specialised organisation knocked on our door to ask about my mother and about us all, in addition to reassuring us. Your visit affected us a lot and made us very happy. Thank you for all your efforts and support. We are fine as long as there are people and organizations who strongly care for us.”
“It is my pleasure to thank you very much for your support and contribution to the efforts of the Jordanian Government during COVID-19. Your efforts truly reflect your humanitarian and development mission, and I, myself, highly appreciate this contribution and wish for you to continue and proceed in your very important work.” – Prime Minister Omar Al-Razzaz.