COVID-19 Outbreak Readiness and Response
The World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a global pandemic on 11 March 2020. From the start, the IASC took collective action to ensure that life-saving humanitarian assistance and protection continues to be delivered and is scaled up to meet the needs of the most vulnerable populations around the world.
As part of its global response, the IASC Principals declared an IASC humanitarian System-Wide Scale-Up Activation (Scale-Up Protocols) for infectious disease events. The IASC also launched its first Global Humanitarian Response Plan (GHRP) for COVID-19, developed numerous operational guidance to address critical aspects of the humanitarian response, and successfully advocated with Gavi, The Vaccine Alliance, for a humanitarian buffer as part of the COVAX initiative to ensure that high-risk populations in humanitarian settings have access to COVID-19 vaccines.
In coordination with the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the IASC quickly rallied its members and partners to implement the COVID-19 GHRP to address the immediate humanitarian consequences of the pandemic. With stepped up advocacy by the Emergency Relief Coordinator and the IASC and with generous donor support, US$3.7 billion of the total requested funding of US$9.5 billion was successfully mobilized.
Under the leadership of the World Food Programme, the IASC staged the largest logistics operation led by the United Nations in support of common services, including passenger and cargo services, and worked closely with WHO to establish field-based hospitals. The latest report is available here.
This first ever global system-wide emergency activation enabled a coordinated approach in scaling-up preparedness and response efforts, including through joint analysis, surge support, supply chain and logistical support, and resource mobilization.