A HI field coordinator with a local family in a refugee settlement in Uganda - Archive photo | ? P. Poussereau / HI
Although Europe is now the epicentre of the Coronavirus pandemic, the virus continues to spill across continents and countries, causing widespread disarray. The number of affected people increases daily. Given this unprecedented and dramatic situation, HI is taking special measures to protect its teams, maintain its operational capabilities and continue assisting the most vulnerable.
As our priority is everyone’s health, we are doing everything we can to provide teams with information on the protection and health measures to take and implement in response to the virus. Our teams in Europe and North America, and in the countries where we work, are continuing their efforts where possible, mainly through teleworking. Our goal is to remain operational in aid of beneficiaries in the sixty countries where we have teams in the field.
The pandemic is growing in most countries where people with disabilities, the injured, refugees and displaced people - the people we assist every day - live. The most vulnerable of the vulnerable, they already experience poverty and exclusion, conflict and disaster. At this stage, the situation, already dire in Western countries, may prove disastrous for people living in some countries where we work, and more specifically for people we assist. The goal is to provide them with more support than ever.
We are drawing up activity continuity plans to continue our essential work in changing circumstances. The organisation is putting arrangements in place to adapt its action to developments in the pandemic and provide an operational response, while assisting in the general effort to combat the coronavirus.