How are Global Humanitarian Organizations Responding to the Coronavirus Pandemic?

Humanitarian organizations already have their hands full

Even before COVID-19 spread across the world to become a global pandemic, conflicts, crises and natural disasters were taxing the global humanitarian organizations.  International Non-Governmental Organizations. INGOs were stretched thin, providing emergency relief to millions of people around the world.

Now, many of these organizations are taking on the additional responsibility of responding to the impact of the coronavirus in places already beset by crises.

So, how does a large INGO prepare its response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and what will that response look like? I presented these questions to Susannah Friedman, the Humanitarian Policy Director for CARE, which is one of the larger global humanitarian organizations. It has a staff of over 6,000 and works in over 100 countries.

We kick off by discussing the importance of a $2 billion funding appeal launched by the UN to coordinate a global response to COVID-19. We then discuss how this pandemic is impacting the day-to-day work of CARE and what CARE is doing to prepare for COVID-19 in the places where it works. This includes an extended conversation about the particular impact of COVID-19 on the health and safety of women and girls already in vulnerable situations.


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