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Published on: 20/03/2020

Dear friends, partners, donors and clients,

The importance of strong water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) systems, and the services they deliver, has perhaps never been so evident. We are all experiencing the fast-evolving corona virus pandemic and its impacts on people's health, school attendance and livelihoods.

We're sharing this initial update to inform you about IRC's response to this rapidly emerging and evolving situation.

As a WASH systems-building organisation, our most important resource is our staff. Their health and wellbeing and that of our partners and the communities with whom we work across the world, is obviously critical to us. We have taken immediate action to ensure 'social distancing' within our offices, following relevant country recommendations; supporting staff to work from home; reducing and restricting travel.

By the nature of our work, our offices and ICT systems are already set up in a way that will help us minimise disruption to our service delivery. We will remain flexible in the light of the evolving situation and government advice.

Drawing on our values as an evidence-based organisation working in public health, we are currently addressing how best to use our voice, resources and expertise to support our partners in districts and countries where we work. We will continue to serve local district and national leaders in water and sanitation to face this crisis in supporting local set priorities. We will issue updates on adaptations to our strategic approach and activity regularly on our site and directly to our stakeholders.

Be assured that the phone lines to our offices in The Hague and in our focus countries will remain operational during any enforced lockdown or isolation. For queries, please contact your regular contact person within IRC, or send them to

Now more than ever we all need to remind the world the value of ensuring strong WASH systems that transform lives and all pull together to make this happen.

Stay healthy, undaunted and, of course, keep washing your hands!

All the best

Patrick Moriarty

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