Indigenous peoples have experienced heightened vulnerability during the COVID-19 pandemic and face disproportionately high COVID-19 mortality. To better address these vulnerabilities, it is critical to adapt COVID-19 programmes to the particular needs of indigenous peoples, as articulated by indigenous voices. It is also vital to link up with responses already ongoing and led by indigenous peoples to mitigate this crisis.

This SSHAP brief discusses key considerations for COVID-19 response and recovery, with a particular focus on the Amazon region of South America. The considerations in this brief are drawn from a review of evidence and insights provided by indigenous leaders and researchers from several different continents. The considerations are rooted in key principles for indigenous community engagement, as articulated by indigenous peoples and organisations.

This brief may be of interest to health and development policymakers and practitioners working in indigenous communities and territories and can be read in conjunction with the SSHAP background report on ‘Indigenous Peoples and COVID-19.’