At today’s Irish Global Health Network Conference, GOAL CEO presents on need to bring world’s most vulnerable people from humanitarian crises to resilience.
At today’s IGHN (Irish Global Health Network) Conference, in her plenary speaker address, GOAL CEO, Siobhan Walsh, will present on health resilience and health systems strengthening, especially during the pandemic. The address will highlight how GOAL responded to the onset of the pandemic by ensuring that all existing GOAL health interventions continued as much as practically possible, whilst also adopting, pivoting and innovating to mitigate against the risks of COVID-19, in tandem with introducing new interventions to address risks directly.
In the initial phase of the pandemic, GOAL focused on innovating in order to counteract damaging misinformation on COVID-19, ensuring that correct messaging was distributed quickly and en masse. In Zimbabwe, the aid agency formed a key partnership with advertising company ProMobile and ProMobile organized for staffed vans to travel the country, equipped with megaphones to communicate correct COVID-19 related information to eight million Zimbabweans. Gradually GOAL added other health and nutrition messages to this campaign as an innovative way to target communities with correct information. The campaign is now disseminating messages about humanitarian aid coupled with information about how to report abuses (physical and GBV related).
Speaking in advance of the Conference, Siobhan Walsh, CEO, GOAL said “Since its founding, nearly half a century ago, GOAL has responded to almost every major humanitarian crisis in 60 countries across the world. These have been driven by conflict, environmental disaster and epidemics.”
“Where there is human suffering, GOAL is there with limited resources but using a rigorous governance framework. And the harder the job, the more likely we will be there to remain true to the values that underpin our organization which are humanitarianism, courage, partnership, transparency & accountability and inclusiveness,” continued Siobhan Walsh.
To ensure rapid scaling up of the pandemic related response across its 14 countries of operation, the agency adapted the Community Led Action (CLA) approach, which was developed during the Ebola outbreak in West Africa in 2014. The CLA approach is based on the premise that communities have the power and agency to stop the spread of infectious diseases, and that their collective local actions are at the heart of an effective response. CLA helps communities to understand the urgency and the action they can take to prevent the spread of infection to protect themselves and their families, thereby ensuring communities are more resilient and can adapt in the face of a shock such as COVID-19.
As a result of these innovative approaches, during the pandemic in 2021, GOAL:
- supported 12.2 million people against COVID-19 across its 14 countries of operation in Africa, Latin America and the Middle East.
- supported 1,500 health facilities to increase their IPC (Infection Prevention and Control) capacity
- reached 24.5 million people with COVID-19 related media messaging
- provided 2.4 million people with soap and hygiene items
*Please see Appendix 1
GOAL has also just launched its Strategy 2025 which is titled From Crisis to Resilience, in recognition that more must be done, to move vulnerable populations exposed to humanitarian crises which disaster hazards, particularly those living in fragile, and conflict affected contexts, beyond humanitarian crisis and to achieve greater resilience. Key to this is strengthening local capacities by stabilising and supporting local systems and populations, as was evidenced in GOAL pandemic related response. Please see https://www.goalglobal.org/strategy2025/