Connectivity, whether for remote NGO staff working from home during the COVID-19 crisis or in field settings, is vital for aid delivery. NetHope and Facebook Connectivity are partnering to protect frontline aid workers and vulnerable populations globally to prevent the spread of COVID-19 through increased internet access.

 When a sudden onset emergency happens, NetHope knows that it has a group of dedicated tech partners to help us support our 57 member organizations get connected and fulfill their missions to aid those affected.

But what happens when the emergency is slower, yet has the potential to lead to the disruption of billions of lives and high rates of mortality?

This is the crisis currently affecting all of us with the spread of COVID-19. Whereas hurricanes, tsunamis, and earthquakes have devastating effects, they are generally localized and contained geographically. A global pandemic knows no boundaries and has the ability to cut down every system in place to protect people. This is no truer than with our nonprofit members who daily battle challenges to continue the delivery of aid, now compounded by COVID-19. Chief among these challenges is the ability for nonprofit employees and volunteers to perform their duties while working from home or other places of self-isolation. Connectivity can be the lifeline that allows these employees to continue vital aid for their beneficiaries.

About the NetHope/Facebook Connectivity Partnership

To help combat this challenge, NetHope and Facebook Connectivity are partnering to protect frontline aid workers globally to prevent the spread of COVID-19 among the world’s most vulnerable populations, namely migrants and refugees. Facebook Connectivity will provide a $260,000 grant to support NetHope’s COVID-19 response. In addition, through Facebook Disease Prevention Maps and NetHope's playbook on information management, the teams will work together to identify and support affected communities, providing them with access to protective health equipment and connectivity kits designed to increase access to the internet. This will ensure they can access timely, accurate information from organizations such as the World Health Organization, The Centers for Disease Control, and UNICEF about how to stay safe and prevent the spread of coronavirus within their communities.

Some of the members of the NetHope/Facebook team working to provide connectivity for NGOs and displaced Venezuelans in Colombia.

“Facebook has been an integral partner for NetHope’s Disaster Preparedness and Response program,” notes Brent Carbno, NetHope’s managing director of Global Programs. “In addition to supporting NetHope’s COVID-19 response, Facebook has been instrumental in supporting NetHope’s Venezuelan Migrant Response program, providing Wi-Fi connectivity for more than half-a-million migrants along the migrant path in Colombia, Peru, and other South and Latin American countries. This partnership has been vital to the success in these responses and has provided life-saving connectivity and information for countless migrants, disaster survivors, and people in need around the globe.”

“Connectivity is at the heart of Facebook's mission of giving people the power to build community and bring the world closer together,” said Dan Rabinovitsj, Vice President of Facebook Connectivity. “The COVID-19 pandemic underscores the importance of this mission and the value of internet connectivity throughout the world. We’re proud to support NetHope in their response to this pandemic, as they work to deliver reliable, affordable internet access where it’s needed most.”

For more, visit the Facebook Newsroom


Filed Under: Collaboration, Connectivity, COVID-19 Response, Digital nonprofit, Organization Update, Partner Highlight, Remote Working, Technology in Our World, Utilization of Technology