As coronavirus grips the world, our experts are examining what it means for the world's poorest communities, what we can do to slow it down and how we can support health workers, communities, families and children.
By Isabel Gomes, World Vision's Global Director of Humanitarian Operations
An unprecedented threat
There have now been more than 375,000 confirmed coronavirus cases and 16,000 deaths across 195 countries, areas or territories globally. This crisis presents an unprecedent challenge for humanitarian response, upending lives, separating families, and raising the risk of gravely impacting our future generation.
Two weeks ago the World Health Organisation characterised the novel COVID-19 virus as a pandemic; today (Wednesday 25 March), the United Nations launches a global humanitarian appeal to urgently increase response, particularly in the world’s most fragile contexts.
World Vision welcomes the launch of the UN’s COVID-19 Global Humanitarian Response Plan. This initiative brings together UN agency plans, and integrates inputs from the Red Cross Movement and international NGOs and networks, including World Vision. Critically, the plan highlights the need for scaling up to respond to the immediate health crisis, but also to the potentially devastating secondary impacts of COVID-19 on access to education, food security, water and sanitation, livelihoods, child protection and increased risk of gender-based violence.
The plan highlights that $1.99bn will be needed to respond globally and emphasises the likelihood of particularly acute impacts in countries with existing humanitarian crises. For these fragile contexts, it is essential that existing humanitarian assistance is protected, and not diverted to the COVID-19 response.