Disaster response Worldwide


2020 - Ongoing
Published on Apr 01, 2020 11:23 AM  -  Updated on Aug 07, 2020 10:14 AM
Remote working, telemedicine, distance learning, teleconferences… these terms, which are today part of our everyday vocabulary, have one common element: technologies. At TSF we want to ensure that technologies allow everyone, even the most vulnerable people, to remain safe, to continue their education, as well as their day-to-day activities, despite the difficulties of the situation. In this framework, health protection of our teams and the people we serve remains an absolute priority. We have thus decided to put in place the necessary measures to limit all health risks and support our teams in this unprecedented context.

Context: Pandemic
Start date: 23/03/2020
End date: Ongoing
Intervention areas: World

  • Information diffusion
  • Distance learning
  • Internet access
  • Support to national coordination

10 medical centers covering more than 160,000 patients in Syria
776 migrants in Bosnia
2,000 migrants in Mexico
200 children in Turkey

Collaboration with the United Nations System

TSF has mobilized to contribute effectively to the global response to the COVID-19 pandemic coordinated by the United Nations. Our technical team regularly participates in the global COVID-19 teleconferences organized by the United Nations Emergency Telecommunications Cluster (UNETC). In addition, our Representative for Latin America and the Caribbean participates in the COVID-19 teleconferences organized by the Regional Office for Latin America and the Caribbean of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (UNOCHA ROLAC). Integrated into the regional working group, TSF adapts its project in Mexico according to the evolution of the health situation to limit the spread of the pandemic but also disseminate priority information in this context to the most vulnerable populations.

Ensuring the continuity of our projects

We are closely monitoring the situation and adjusting our current missions accordingly, so that we can respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, while ensuring the continuity of our activities.

  • Syria: 10 connected medical centers, covering more than 160,000 patients. Given the conditions of proximity, hygiene, and misery in the Idlib area where 900,000 people do not know where to go to flee the bombings, the spread of the virus in this country would be catastrophic. To ensure the protection of the Syrian population, TSF is increasing the number of vital connections in support of medical teams on the ground, to enable them to be better equipped in the face of this trying crisis.
  • Mexico: awareness and information on COVID-19 for 700 migrants in 7 reception centers. Since March 23, the information disseminated to migrant populations has included a COVID-19 section. The new slides present details about the virus, its transmission and basic protection measures to stop its spread in a simple and clear manner, as well as updates and alerts. The content is updated daily, and is based on reliable sources such as the International Committee of the Red Cross, the World Health Organization and the International Organization for Migration. The information system has also been installed in two new centers, one in Ciudad Juárez’s reception center, Chihuahua and one in the "Siglo 21" government migration station in Villahermosa, Tabasco.
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina: 776 migrants confined to Bira connected by TSF. The free internet connection provided by TSF to migrants at the Bira reception center, managed by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), since November 2018 is all the more important. 776 migrants are currently stranded and confined in the center, in very difficult living conditions. Through this connection, they can access vital information on protection measures, administrative decrees and legislative procedures. In a constantly changing situation, where information is often contradictory and unreliable, this connection allows them to stay safe as much as possible. To limit the risk of contamination, the center has increased its capacity by setting up an isolation zone dedicated to new arrivals, who must remain there for 14 days. TSF has deployed new Wi-Fi hotspots to cover this area and has also made improvements to the original network in the rest of the center.
  • Turkey: distance educational monitoring for 200 children in Gaziantep. To ensure the safety of the children and our local staff, the two Syrian refugee centers in Gaziantep where TSF is active have closed. Nevertheless, we have developed a system based on the concept of distance education to allow 200 children to continue activities at home. Through WhatsApp and an online platform specifically developed by our technicians, children can continue learning on different subjects such as Arabic, Maths and Computer Science. Our local staff regularly sends resources, exercises and video tutorials to children. Contact remains constant and feedback on their work is provided on a regular basis.

Technical support in the most disadvantaged areas

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on all countries and sectors, and has brought the most advanced economies and health systems to their limits. Without support, the consequences of the pandemic on poorer and less-favored regions will be catastrophic. TSF has mobilized its contacts, developed during 20 years of humanitarian operations in the field, to contribute to the fight against the virus.

In Mozambique, we are supporting the National Institute for Disaster Management (INGC) in its response to COVID-19 by providing satellite equipment and bandwidth. These resources support the operations of INGC field teams in remote areas with no connection.

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