Focus on tens of thousands of food and medicine deliveries when Dan Eliasson visited Nacka municipality
In total, around 30 000 food and medicine deliveries have been made to members of risk groups in Sweden during the pandemic – thanks to the work performed by voluntary organisations together with business partners.
The pandemic is far from over and we must keep going and persevere. Some of those who have made a significant effort during the pandemic are non-profit organisations with strong local support from its members and activities. In order to support the country’s municipalities in handling societal challenges due to the pandemic, MSB decided in early spring to fund and strengthen cooperation with the purpose of making voluntary resources available. As part of the initiative, the Swedish Red Cross was tasked with coordinating non-profit support to aid risk groups in municipalities where other solutions were not sufficient. The so-called emergency support was made possible by a letter of intent signed between the Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency (SALAR) and five non-profit organisations in March of 2020. This form of assistance spread rapidly and now exists in just under 90 municipalities. It is a safe way of helping risk groups with purchasing food and medicine.
30 000 food and medicine deliveries
On Wednesday, MSB’s Director-General Dan Eliasson visited Nacka, one of the municipalities where the support has been used during the pandemic. During the visit, the Director-General met with representatives of all parts of the successful cooperation – non-profits, municipality, and industry.
– The visit to Nacka shows the power of volunteering, but also the strength in having different parts of society join forces to help. Here we can see the municipality, volunteers, and business partners from the industry organising together with both endurance and efficiency, says Dan Eliasson.
Martin Ärnlöv, Secretary-General of the Swedish Red Cross, participated during the visit and spoke about results and lessons learned from coordinating this form of assistance:
– Together with the Church of Sweden, Save the Children, the National Association for City Missions in Sweden, the Swedish Sports Confederation, and many business partners, we have, since March, made around 30 000 food and medicine deliveries to people in risk groups. Our volunteers continue to give people practical and compassionate support to alleviate the effects of the pandemic.
Lessons learned from the pandemic
Support needs vary in different parts of the country, and so do solutions – hiring those who have been laid off, cooperation with volunteers and the industry. In all, many forces are working to strengthen Sweden during this crisis. The letter of intent enabled a safe and good offer to municipalities in need of reinforcements. The emergency support was quickly established with major reach across the country and facilitates everyday life for a great number of people in risk groups. There is much to learn here for future crises and to see how civil society organisations can contribute crucial operational actions to strengthen the resilience of both society and individuals.