The Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue (HD) has launched today a global initiative in response to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

The initiative, which focuses on conflict-affected areas, lays out the measures HD will take to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to mitigate its impact.

“The virus doesn’t respect borders or front lines,” said HD Executive Director David Harland.

“Populations in war zones are already vulnerable, and at huge new risk. And there is also a risk to the world, as those conflict-affected areas could become ‘super incubators’ for the virus unless we act now.”

The initiative outlines four main HD goals, to be pursued in collaboration with global health experts:

  • Deliver life-saving information to hard-to-reach populations;
  • Work with communities to monitor the outbreak, to strengthen the global response;
  • Facilitate humanitarian access to these hard-to-reach populations;
  • Promote humanitarian pauses in areas of active armed conflict, to give space for an effective response against the pandemic.

“We have a great health access network in the world’s conflict-affected countries that we can draw on and we have great operational partners,” said Tom Gregg, who leads HD’s global humanitarian programmes.

“HD will leverage its network of front line health workers in inaccessible conflict areas to support the global response to this unprecedented crisis.”