H2H Network Supports Global Humanitarian Response to Covid-19 with Package of Humanitarian Services

News and Press Release
Originally published

Deep and broad technical expertise focuses on supporting ongoing humanitarian activities in regions with fragile health systems

GENEVA, 28 MAY 2020 – The H2H Network grants second round of funding to specialist organisations working in 17 countries to provide technical services in support of the global humanitarian response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The H2H Network reactivated its fund for member agencies to deliver a deep and broad package of services in support of the humanitarian sector, globally and locally. The reactivation follows an initial round of funding in February 2020 when the H2H Network supported a package of humanitarian services aiming to counter misinformation with facts in relevant languages and accessible formats, focusing on countries with less resilient healthcare systems.

Rebecca Petras, the Network’s Director (interim), said,

“There are many unknowns around the Covid-19 pandemic, but we can say for sure that it is likely to have a disproportionate impact on countries already dealing with issues such as climate change, conflict, inequality, and weak governance. Fast funding and early action from technical agencies supporting the broader humanitarian system can help ensure that the ongoing global health crisis doesn’t turn into a full-blown humanitarian crisis for many of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable.”

The activation of the fund is intended to limit the global, regional, and local impacts of Covid-19 with a range of cross-cutting services to support communities and humanitarians faced with compounded emergencies. It fills gaps left when programmes from international NGOs were reduced because of the pandemic, and it provides new approaches to support vulnerable populations while also maintaining strict Covid-19 guidelines. Support is available at no cost to humanitarians and spans expertise in communications and community engagement, data and information, logistics and security, and quality and standards. Services include the following:

• Support to the health sector to quickly disseminate epidemiologically accurate messaging.

• Expertise in information and data analysis, assessment, visualization, and management.

• Help for agencies building up monitoring and evaluation expertise.

• New remote techniques for collecting feedback and needs from vulnerable populations while maintaining distance.

• Capacity building and knowledge-sharing support, with an emphasis on water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH), mental health, and psychosocial programming.

One of the funded member agencies is MapAction. Ian Davis, Fundraising and Marketing Director, said,

“MapAction is excited to be a part of the H2H Covid-19 Support Package. We often coordinate and collaborate with H2H partners, as we provide expert humanitarian geospatial and visualization capacity. As a part of this package, we anticipate supporting more of them than ever, as we all bring our specialist skills and capabilities to bear against the effects of this pandemic."

The H2H Network developed the scope of the activation in consultation with experts based in international agencies leading the response, including the World Health Organization (WHO), International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The H2H Network is an innovative collaboration of 55 humanitarian agencies that provide services to support humanitarian and emergency action. The Network’s members offer specialist services, developed and available to all humanitarian responders, addressing cross-cutting issues to help overall responses to be more effective, of higher quality, and more efficient. The H2H Network is supported by UK aid from the UK government and hosted by the Danish Refugee Council (DRC).


The New Humanitarian is a member of the Network and a funded agency. Its Director, Heba Aly, said,

“At a time of unprecedented uncertainty for already vulnerable communities and a global ‘info-demic’ of often factually inaccurate information, the H2H Network’s support for our work in providing trusted, fact-based information about this crisis has never been more important.”

H2H Network member agencies funded in this response, organized by service category, are:

Community Engagement and Accountability
· Evidence Aid
· Fondation Hirondelle
· Ground Truth Solutions
· The New Humanitarian
Data and Information Management
· CartONG
· Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team
· MapAction
Quality and Professionalization
· Humanitarian Academy for Development
· RedR UK
· Sphere
Security and Logistics
· Atlas Logistique
· Insecurity Insight