COVID-19 has been a major factor in humanitarian response worldwide since February 2020, and MapAction’s work has adapted too. Early on it was clear the pandemic would affect most or all humanitarian contexts, though not so easy to predict how.
As travel restrictions emerged, whilst humanitarian needs remained and were further complicated by COVID-19, it was clear that MapAction’s services would remain vital, but delivery would need to change. Moving quickly MapAction developed systems to receive, triage and manage multiple simultaneous requests for support from partners worldwide.
Existing funders enabled the transition, but further resources were needed in the face of this growing humanitarian challenge. MapAction’s first grant from the H2H COVID-19 II Fund provided a major part of those.
Being a part of the H2H COVID-19 task force stimulated MapAction interaction with fellow task force members over the response. Many were long-standing partners but coming together under this fund enhanced collaboration between fundees.
MapAction, CartONG and HOT (Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team) issued a joint Global COVID-19 Service Offer so that humanitarian agencies of all kinds could see who to approach for which geospatial and related information management services.
Several H2H partners are also a part of GIMAC (Global Information Management, Assessment and Analysis Cell). GIMAC is a multi-stakeholder initiative, proposed jointly by several UN and non-UN partners, which aims to coordinate, structure, collate, manage and analyse COVID-19 related information, and to provide technical support and services to support prioritised countries and global decision making based on a request. MapAction has played a leading role in GIMAC, under the H2H COVID-19 grant.
MapAction and CartONG have since worked on several joint COVID-19-related projects. MapAction is supporting a COVID-19 Incident Mapping project with Insecurity Insight, MapAction’s support for ACAPS’ COVID-19 Global Task Force with the Government Measures Dashboard continues. And the joint working continues. A language mapping project is at a scoping stage with Translators Without Borders.