UNICEF campaign on wearing masks as COVID-19 cases soar across the Middle East and North Africa

AMMAN, 10 August 2020- With the recent spike in COVID-19 cases in the Middle East and North Africa, wearing masks has become more critical than ever. To date, over 1.2 million cases were confirmed across the region with nearly 35,000 deaths.

Wearing masks can become tiring, inconvenient and at times tedious. There is no question, however, that it is essential to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Scientific evidence suggests that face cover including medical and fabric masks can help control the spread of COVID-19” said Dr. Anirban Chatterjee, Regional Health Advisor at UNICEF MENA “Face masks are an effective measure to protect the person using them and their community” he added.

To encourage people around the region to wear masks, UNICEF has just launched a campaign featuring children and influencers to engage the public to wear masks and highlight how to properly use them and dispose of them safely.

“We are immensely grateful to the influencers* who joined us from around the region and gave their voice to encourage people to wear masks and at the same time make it creative and fun!” said Juliette Touma, Regional Chief of Communications, and the campaign manager “ This is a rolling and interactive campaign that will continue for the coming months. UNICEF invites more influencers, celebrities and individuals to send out messages on wearing masks: a critical item in our day to day life”.

This campaign is part of UNICEF’s efforts to reach millions of people with awareness material and information. So far, UNICEF has reached nearly 200 million people – close to 40 per cent of the region’s population – with material and information on COVID-19.

“Wearing masks is one of several precautionary health measures that we strongly encourage people to undertake. Wearing masks becomes effective when combined with frequent hand washing, the use of hand sanitizers, physical distancing, and environmental cleaning and disinfection,” concluded Dr. Chatterjee.

Help us spread the word by sharing your photo or a short video while wearing a mask to UNICEF’s MENA social media platforms.

So, #MaskUp and #Be Safe!

Notes to Editors:

*UNICEF would like to thank the influencers from nine different countries who participated in the campaign: Chahrazad Kracheni; artist and entrepreneur, Dima Bawwab; opera singer, Emel Mathlouthi; singer-songwriter, Fahad Alabri; content creator, Fatma Al-Nabhani; tennis player, Huda Imam; cultural activist, Jad Rahabani; music composer, Lila Borsali; artist and performer, Mehdi.khr; content creator, Maha Jaafar; content creator, Muhannad Al-Khatib; journalist and TV presenter, Mustafa Jorry; content creator, Ricardo Karam; journalist and TV presenter, Rym Rezig; Journalist and host, Salma Abu Deif; actress.

Media Contacts

Juliette Touma
Regional Chief of Communications
UNICEF Middle East and North Africa Regional Office
Tel: 00962798674628
Email: jtouma@unicef.org

Hasan Nabulsi
Communication Officer
UNICEF MENA
Tel: 00962791368405
Email: hnabulsi@unicef.org

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