This assessment report aims to identify the regional impacts of COVID-19 and enable the IFRC Americas Regional Office (ARO) to define mid- and long-term actions that address the most important humanitarian needs. This report seeks to support regional planning by: 1. describing the underlying factors and contextual features that underpin the COVID-19 pandemic impact in the Americas; 2. analysing the primary and secondary impacts of the virus on Health, Socio-Economic issues and National Society operations; and 3. highlighting the risks, opportunities and recommendations for action that can best support the needs of National Societies (NS) throughout the region. Unlike traditional Emergency Needs Assessments, this initiative focused on high-level needs and recommendations that are applicable at the regional or sub-regional levels. Recommendations in this report do not seek to prescribe actions for NS, but rather focus on how the broader Movement can support operating NS and the volunteers providing essential services in the field.
The underlying structural conditions in the region shape the scope and scale of the pandemic and its impact, as well as the effect on National Societies. Central pre-existing factors include the state of national health systems, economic inequality and poverty, migration, inequality due to gender and diversity and disaster risks and climate change. Despite this complex context, the IFRC and member National Societies are on the frontline of the response and will continue to operate in collaboration with national authorities and partners in alleviating the impact of COVID-19.