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April 2020
During a period of uncertainty due to the ongoing global pandemic, many of us are filled with fear and anxiety. While there are still many unknowns, international organizations in Geneva and around the world are working together to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and alleviate the impact the virus has on individuals, communities and the economy. Below are a few of the many encouraging stories that can bring us comfort and hope.
 

In response to COVID-19, the Global Fund supports countries worldwide

To fight against and mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on programmes to fight AIDS, TB and malaria, the Global Fund is letting countries use up to 5% of approved grant funding to help protect and treat vulnerable communities.
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Protecting prison populations from coronavirus

An outbreak of COVID-19 in a prison could be devastating, especially in overcrowded prisons where general health is already low. Elena Leclerc, Health in Detention Programme Coordinator for the International Committee of the Red Cross, is monitoring projects in detention facilities in more than 50 countries. Read further to find out how ICRC is addressing this threat.
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IOM joins global response to prevent the spread and mitigate the impact of COVID-19

The International Organization for Migration (IOM) is joining the health and humanitarian community to launch an inter-agency COVID-19 Global Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP). IOM is appealing for USD 100 million to strengthen its response to crisis-affected areas that are threatened by COVID-19. The HRP will address the needs of over 100 million people dependent on the UN for lifesaving humanitarian assistance globally, including vulnerable migrant populations.
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How to improve the response to COVID-19 using telecommunication networks

Around the world, work and schooling moved online just about overnight. Institutions and individuals are urgently seeking digital approaches that can help mitigate the catastrophic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on communities and the economy. In response, ITU has launched the Global Network Resiliency Platform (#REG4COVID) to assist national policy-makers, regulators and industry stakeholders to ensure telecommunication networks and services are available to all. Share experiences and ongoing initiatives here to help support one another and ensure communities remain connected.
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Young Leaders in The Gambia respond quickly to COVID-19

The budding Gambian tourism industry has taken a hit due to travel bans. In response, youth trained in the field of tourism under the EU-funded Youth Empowerment Project have jumped into action to protect their communities and build resilience against further impacts on the vulnerable tourism industry. ITC in The Gambia is mobilizing these young leaders with funding and resources.
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Three international organizations partner with WhatsApp to get real-time health information to billions around the world

The WhatsApp Coronavirus Information Hub is a new initiative launched by WhatsApp in partnership with WHO, UNICEF and UNDP. It aims to reduce the spread of rumours by providing accurate health information for health workers, educators, community leaders, businesses and the like, who rely on this tool to communicate.
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Photo by Basak Kabaday - Shuttershock.com 
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Scaling up Coronavirus preparedness and response

A global IFRC emergency appeal for 32 million Swiss francs has been launched. It aims to support the Red Cross and Red Crescent national societies across the globe in their efforts to prevent or slow transmission of the virus. A guide has been developed in partnership with WHO and UNICEF to prevent and address the social stigma associated with COVID-19.
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Photo by Iraqi Red Crescent Society
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