The Sphere standards and the Coronavirus response

Manual and Guideline
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The Coronavirus is spreading globally. How can individuals, communities and humanitarian actors best respond to the COVID-19 outbreak? How can the Sphere Handbook guide our response?


This document has two sections:

A. The first section covers fundamental principles which are crucial to a successful, holistic intervention.

B. The second covers relevant standards and guidance in the handbook’s WASH and Health chapters.

A. Holistic approach

Sphere offers a holistic, people-centred approach to humanitarian work, with the three foundation chapters – Humanitarian Charter, Protection Principles and Core Humanitarian Standard – supporting the four technical chapters. For the Coronavirus1 response, there are three important overarching factors: Firstly, people should be seen as human beings, not just cases. Human dignity is woven throughout the Handbook. Secondly, community engagement is crucial. And thirdly, focusing on preventing the spread of the Coronavirus should not make us forget affected people’s other needs, nor the long-term medical needs of the wider population.