COVID-19 Impacts International Aid Organizations

Refugees receive food aid from a helicopter drop at a distribution center in Chimanimani, Zimbabwe (Source: Devex).

International aid organizations are currently restricting their travel and developing response plans in countries impacted or at-risk for COVID-19. Due to the coronavirus, it will be harder for these organizations to travel in and out of countries that need help.

As this is a dynamic situation, international aid organizations will continue to monitor and adapt travel and community engagement policies. NGOs are hopeful that the impact and important work in conflict zones will be minimally affected. There is also a concern about supply chain shortages.

Additionally, the United Nations is conducting risk assessment to determine the costs and benefits for travelers in terms of risk for traveler and the needs of different countries. There are already confirmed COVID-19 cases in countries, such as Iraq, which are in crisis due to natural disasters or conflicts.

UN agencies are also changing their protocols for travel, including limiting international travel to only mission-critical work and implementing telework.

Another challenge for international aid organizations is the procurement of medical supplies, such as masks and goggles. They have not been easy to find and are currently more expensive.

Read more at Devex.